BA and Iberia discuss possible merger

July 29, 2008 at 11:42 AM

LONDON, July 29 (UPI) -- Spanish airline Iberia and British Airways are discussing a merger plan that would maintain the two separate brands, the companies said Tuesday.

BA's Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh said consolidation "is long overdue," the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.

"The aviation landscape is changing," Walsh said.

Iberia's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fernando Conte said the merger "would be good news for our customers."

BA is the larger of the two with a market value of $5.74 billion, compared with Iberia's $3.23 billion. BA owns 13.2 percent of Iberia while Iberia recently purchased 2.99 percent of BA, the BBC reported.

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