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BRITISH AIRWAYS PULLOUT IN BUYOUT SENDS UAL STOCK INTO TAILSPIN

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British Airways PLC on Friday bailed out of a group attempting to buy UAL Corp., a defection that sent UAL stock into a tailspin and dealt the buyout plan its second blow in a week.

The pilots union at UAL's United Airlines, which along with management is leading the buyout attempt, quickly announced it was developing a new plan that would include for the first time United's flight attendants as partners.But some analysts and United's Machinists union, which vehemently has opposed the buyout plan, said the British Airway's departure may doom the proposal. In a brief statement Friday morning in London, British Airways said it "does not intend to participate in any new deal for the acquisition of UAL in the foreseeable future." It didn't give reasons, but said its marketing agreement with United would remain in effect.

"We're obviously disappointed. However, we do plan to move ahead with our new partners, the flight attendants, who joined with us yesterday," said Hank Krakowski, a spokesman for the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association.