BA-Iberia merger rumours grow

9th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 September 2004, LONDON –Rumours of a possible merger between the Spanish airline Iberia and British Airways gathered strength Thursday after BA chairman said its company was in a "robust position" to join another European carrier.

9 September 2004

LONDON –Rumours of a possible merger between the Spanish airline Iberia and British Airways gathered strength Thursday after BA chairman said its company was in a "robust position" to join another European carrier.

Rod Eddington added to speculation after BA sold its 18.25 percent stake in the Australian carrier Qantas for EUR 625 million, reducing its debts.

Analysts have interpreted this as a sign that BA is preparing for a possible merger with the Spanish national carrier.

BA already has a 9 percent stake in Iberia.

But the merger may be hampered because of international rules governing these moves, which would mean Iberia could lose certain advantages in Spain if it became part of the British company.

Experts believe that the two airlines could join forces in 2006.

Eddington, announcing the sale of its stake in Qantas at a press conference in London, did not hide BA's good relations with the Spanish airline.

"We consider them a key element in our European projects," he said.

Both companies are to share a number of routes this winter and are linked to American Airlines and the Oneworld travel alliance.

Meanwhile, BA faces a new strong rival in Europe with the merger of Air France and KLM.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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