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Iberia considers Air France-KLM merger a 'viable path to follow'


MADRID (XFNews) - Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA sees the

current merger process between Air France and KLM as a "viable path

to follow" in its plans for closer links with British Airways PLC, the

Spanish flag carrier's chairman Manuel Conte said.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Iberia's AGM today, Conte said that the tie-up between Air France and KLM "is an interesting path to follow," adding that it is "clearly viable."

BA holds 9 pct of Iberia and the two airlines have recently merged some of their Madrid and London routes.

Turning to other possible tie-ups, Conte said that Iberia has a "fruitful relationship" with its partner in Mexico, state-controlled Mexicana de Aviacion.

He noted, however, that Iberia is waiting for the terms of the privatisation of the airline before making any decision to acquire a stake.

Earlier this month, Iberia spokesman Jaime Perez Guerra said in Mexico that Iberia is interested in acquiring either Mexicana de Aviacion or Aeromexic, the two airlines majority-held by the Mexican government, when they are privatised.

Mexicana de Aviacion is currently held by Mexican state holding company Cintra.

Turning to the company's dividend policy, Conte said that Iberia will continue to match its dividend payments with its results.

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