SPANISH airline Iberia has agreed a merger with British Airways following 16 months of negotiations, according to Spanish sources.
The merger will see BA land a 55 per cent share in the company with Iberia owning 45 per cent.
The terms of the deal mean the company’s headquarters will be based in London.
It is thought that BA’s chief executive Willie Walsh will be the company’s new CEO and Iberia’s president, Antonio Vasquez, will be the chairman.
BA already owns 13.5 per cent of Iberia, and the two carriers have a code-sharing agreement under the One World grouping of airlines, which allows them to sell seats on each other’s services.
An initial bid from BA for it to own 60 per cent of the Spanish airline was rejected.
The merger will create the world’s third-largest airline by revenue. BA has, as yet, not confirmed the deal.
Both airlines will keep their names and fly as independent brands under the deal.
In other airline news, budget airline jet2.com has expanded its reward scheme to include British expatriates with a Spanish residential address.
Those signing up to the loyalty scheme, myjet2, before the end of November will be credited with 100 free bonus points – 600 points gets you a one-way flight from mainland Spain.
Every pound or euro spent on a flight, including the taxes, gains you one reward point.