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TEMPE, Ariz. (


) --

US Airways


President Scott Kirby says the carrier has approached


(UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report

about joining in a transatlantic joint venture with anti-trust immunity.

"If there's an opportunity to make it better by being part of a joint venture, we would like to do that," Kirby said, during US Airways' fourth-quarter earnings call. "It's something we've had some conversations about with them."

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Given that that United is working to implement a merger with Continental, however, including US Airways in the carriers' transatlantic joint venture "is not anything that's imminent," Kirby said. "Maybe it's potentially down the road." A United spokesman declined to comment.

Within an immunized transatlantic joint venture, carriers can discuss fares and scheduling and can divide up revenues, according to formulas they devise, for many but not all of their trans-Atlantic flights.

Kirby added that "We love being in Star," the alliance that includes United and


Some analysts have suggested that absent antitrust immunity, the carrier

might be better off in another alliance.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Ted Reed