Iberia and British Airways have today taken a further step towards creating a new leading European airline group by signing their merger agreement. The merger is expected to be completed in late 2010 and will benefit both airlines’ shareholders, customers and employees. The new company will be one of the world’s largest airline groups with 408 aircraft flying to 200 destinations and carrying more than 58 million passengers per year. It has been structured so that it can take advantage of further consolidation in the global aviation industry.
The new group will generate annual synergies of approximately €400 million by the fifth year of the merger. It will create a new holding company called International Consolidated Airlines Group SA which will be known as International Airlines Group. Both airlines will retain their current operations and operate under their individual brands – British Airways and Iberia.
Antonio Vazquez, Iberia’s chairman and chief executive, said: “This is an important step in the process towards creating one of the world’s leading global airlines that will be better equipped to compete with other major airlines and participate in future industry consolidation. We look forward to concluding the deal before the year end.”
Willie Walsh, British Airways chief executive, said: “The merged company will provide customers with a larger combined network. It will also have greater potential for further growth by optimizing the dual hubs of London and Madrid and providing continued investment in new products and services.”
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