MADRID -- Spain's state airline group Iberia backs a proposed merger between Chile's two principal airlines, Ladeco and Lan Chile, a company spokesman told United Press International Wednesday.
Spokesman Felix Ortega said Iberia, the main shareholder in Ladeco, was backing proposals by Scandanavian Airline Systems, which holds a major stake in Lan Chile, for the two airlines to merge.
'We would like it to happen,' he said in a telephone interview. 'Given the competition among airlines in the Americas we believe that a joint company would be stronger.'
He was unsure, however, whether the Chilean government would allow such a merger. 'They have an anti-monopolies commission there,' he said.
Loss-maker Iberia holds a 37.35 percent share in Ladeco, which makes a profit. Iberia is currently reviewing its holdings in two loss-making Latin American airlines -- Aerolineas Argentinas and Venezuela's Viasa.