26-Feb-2010 1:04 PM

Iberia expecting to sign merger agreement with British Airways in next few weeks

Iberia Chairman, Antonio Vazquez, stated he is confident British Airways will be able to find a solution to its pension deficit issues and a merger between the two carriers will proceed, with a "definite deal" to be signed in the “next few weeks” (Reuters, 25-Feb-2010). According to Mr Vazquez, the merger will be the first of many, if regulatory measures are met. Iberia CEO, Rafael Sanchez-Lozano, meanwhile stated management is seeking a “radical transformation” of the carrier and the goal for FY2010 is to “stop losing money” (AFP, 25-Feb-2010). The carrier also plans to transfer short and medium haul routes to its new subsidiary, which it hopes to establish in 2011, to compete with LCCs.

Iberia: “This market has changed for good. Traditional airlines as we know them will disappear, but we're not crying here…There will be a satisfactory solution to the pension deficit and I'm absolutely convinced that this merger will go ahead,” Antonio Vazquez, CEO. Source: Reuters, 25-Feb-2010.