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AIRASIA AND QANTAS TO MERGE ?

NATIONAL NEWS

The possible merger between AirAsia and Jetstar could involve a share swap and would help the carriers cope with the impact of slowing demand worldwide as the global economy weakens
KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIAN low-cost airline AirAsia Bhd is in talks to merge with the budget carrier of Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd, a Malaysian newspaper reported on Tuesday citing an unnamed source.
The possible merger between AirAsia and Jetstar could involve a share swap and would help the carriers cope with the impact of slowing demand worldwide as the global economy weakens, The Star newspaper said.
Merger talks are at a preliminary stage, the report said.
Asked to comment, AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes told the newspaper: 'We are always talking and looking at ways to strengthen AirAsia into a global brand.
A Qantas spokesman told the paper: 'We talk to airlines all the time about possible partnerships, relationships and cooperative agreements.'
Qantas and British Airways had earlier this month called off talks for a $6.4 billion (S$9.28 billion) merger. Mr Fernandes has said that AirAsia may be taken private.

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