Expatica news

EU to rule on Iberia-BA plan to share routes

1 December 2003

MADRID- The Spanish airline Iberia and British Airways may be about to share routes between the two countries, it was reported Monday.

The European Union will decide next week if the two companies can work together.

If the deal gets the green light, it could mean that from 2005, BA takes over routes between Britain and Spain from Iberia.

The deal would principally affect routes between Bilbao, Valencia, and Seville and London. The number of flights each day is expected to remain the same.

It would also save both companies from having to give up slots at UK airports to other airlines.

Iberia would remain, after the agreement, the leader in the Latin-American market, while BA would continue to be the bigest airline in the Asian and North-American market.

Both airlines would retain their own market position, but the deal would also allow them to cut costs.

The European Union Competence Commssion is expected to make its decision by 12 December.

Apart from sharing the same routes, both airlines may also share staff.

BA owns nine per cent of Iberia.

Last year, Iberia made a profit of EUR 110 million. In comparison in three months this year, between April and June, British Airways made losses of EUR 63 million after suffering from an industrial dispute which wrought chaos at Heathrow Airport..

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news