Spanish airline Iberia and British Airways have agreed to merge in a deal that will create one of the world’s biggest airline groups.
The merger was initially agreed in November last year and is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.
The individual BA and Iberia brands will continue to operate as normal, while the new company will be called International Airlines Group. Its headquarters will be based in London.
All traveller and company loyalty programmes currently remain unchanges. Any future changes applicable will be advised at the time of introduction by International Airlines.
In a joint statement, the two companies said the group would operate a total of 408 aircraft, flying to 200 destinations, and carrying over 58 million passengers a year. It added that shareholders, employees and customers would benefit from the merger, with BA shareholders retaining 55% ownership of the company.
The completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approval from the relevant competition authorities, including the European Commission, and to approval by both British Airways and Iberia shareholders.
British Airways and Iberia hope to present the transaction for shareholder approval in November 2010, with completion expected to occur around one month later.