Tom Horton, the American Airlines president, has described the transatlantic alliance with International Airlines Group – parent of British Airways and Iberia, a “synthetic merger” and indicated that the airlines would merge fully once US restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines has been lifted. Horton predicts this to happen within the next 10-15 years. Today, foreign companies are restricted to only 25% ownership of domestic carriers but Washington is under pressure from the European Union to relax the rules. A full merger between AA and IAG would create the largest airline in the world. In the meantime however Horton indicated

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