British Airways to Merge With Iberia

Published by: Kelly Curtis on 29th Nov 2010 | View all blogs by Kelly Curtis
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British Airways to Merge With Iberia

Shareholders of British Airways and Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA have approved a proposed $9 billion merger that will expand the UK company's dominance of lucrative trans-Atlantic routes and bring the company closer to market leaders Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

British Airways CEO says the company plans further acquisitions, too, as it attempts to cut costs and expand into more markets.  The London-based airline posted its first profit in two years during the quarter ending September 30th, thanks in part to a surge in demand for business travel.  Similarly, Iberia made a return to profitability in the second quarter of this year.

The deal was agreed to by Iberia's owners in Madrid and three British Airways resolutions approving the deal won support from more than 99 percent of voters in London.  British Airways' cabin- crew union marked the occasion by announcing plans for a strike ballot in a 21-month dispute over pay and staffing levels.

Monday's approval gives the companies the opportunity to begin coordinating flight schedules and reorganization details.  The deal is scheduled to take effect on January 21st after receiving the blessing of the High Court on January 19th.

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