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BA-Iberia merger confirmed

13th November 2009

British Airways (BA) and Iberia have announced that they will merge in late 2010, creating one of the biggest airlines in the world.

The carriers revealed that BA will own 55 per cent of new holding company TopCo, while its Spanish partner will own the remaining 45 per cent.

Both firms will retain their own names and brands, but will have a combined fleet of 419 aircraft and cover 205 destinations between them.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA, commented: 'The merger will create a strong European airline well able to compete in the 21st century.'

Iberia chairman and chief executive Antonio Vazquez said that the agreement is a 'giant step' for both carriers and will create a 'real global airline'.

'We are more prepared than ever to face future challenges,' he added.

The companies claimed that the merger will improve customer service by offering passengers more competitive prices, enhanced frequent flyer perks and a greater number of destinations.

Last month, airport operator BAA confirmed that it will sell Gatwick Airport to US-based investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners for GBP 1.51 billion.

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