THE U.S.-BRITISH aviation feud took a more civil turn last week. Although the two countries are still far apart on a new airline access deal, the Clinton administration passed up an opportunity to retaliate against Britain.

The administration had threatened either to curtail British Airway's marketing alliance with USAir or, even worse, renounce the U.S.-U.K. aviation treaty. Instead, it extended the code-sharing alliance for another year, leaving the field clear for more negotiations.It is increasingly likely that Washington and London may opt for a so- called minideal - slightly better U.S. access to London airports in exchange for U.S. approval of further BA investment in USAir. Any deal, even a small one, is preferable to a break in U.S.-British relations.

For the full story: Log In, Register for Free or Subscribe