Expatica news

Iberia expects to complete merger with BA in January

Spanish airline Iberia expects its merger with British Airways, which will create Europe’s second-biggest airline by market value after Lufthansa, to be completed in January 2011.

Iberia has called an extraordinary shareholders assembly for November 28 to vote on the planned merger while British Airways shareholders are scheduled to vote on the issue the following day.

“Subject to the approval of the operation by the shareholders of both companies, the merger is expected to be carried out in January 2011,” Iberia said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The two airlines signed the merger deal on April 8 in a bid to compete more effectively in the fast-consolidating aviation sector and the European Commission gave the green light to the deal in July.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh will become chief executive of the new umbrella company which will control the two airlines, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), while Iberia chairman Antonio Vazquez will become group chairman.