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BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU

Today the European Union sanctioned the merger of British Airways, the United Kingdom's highest-profile airline, and Iberia, the flag carrier of SpainInternational Consolidated Airlines Group is the name of the Anglo-Spanish holding company created as a result of the merger.  And ultimately, it wishes to incorporate the United States-based carrier American Airlines into this network, for a three-way alliance that would, if approved by the United States, give the network "a virtual monopoly on some trans-Atlantic routes," according to www.cheapflights.co.uk

Approval by the European Union of this proposed merger sent United States airline stocks higher this morning, on a day that saw stocks in many other businesses and industries flatline or go lower.  AMR Corporation, the holding company of American Airlines, was up sharply in the first twenty minutes of trading this morning, but by close, had settled back to where it started the day, actually down three cents per share.

American Airlines was formed in New York in 1930, when dozens of smaller airlines merged to form American Airways.  It relocated its headquarters to Dallas, Texas in 1979, where the corporate offices remain today.  The airline's largest hub is at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW).

British Airways was founded in 1974 with the merger of the British Overeas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is headquartered in the borough of Hillingdon, in London, near its largest hub, Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  Iberia was founded in 1927, and is the largest carrier based in Spain, by number of passengers carried.  It is headquartered in Madrid, and maintains hubs at Barajas Airport in the Spanish capital (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD), and also at Barcelona Airport in the northeast of the country (IATA: BCN; ICAO: LEBL).  Despite the merger, British Airways and Iberia will both continue to use their own distinctive branding schemes and logos.

related stories

Alitalia joins network of Air France/KLM and Delta (July 5, 2010)

Qantas and China Eastern codeshare more flights (June 25, 2010)

JAL and AA take another step toward anti-trust immunity (June 24, 2010)

United Airlines and Jet Airways agree to codeshare (June 18, 2010)

Malév and Etihad sign a codeshare deal (June 9, 2010)

The United-Continental merger is not yet a sure thing (May 19, 2010)

Two airlines looking for awards in Hamburg next week made a deal (May 12, 2010)

United and Continental will probably merge (May 3, 2010)

original stories

EU gives green light to BA, Iberia merger (www.cheapflights.co.uk)

Airlines rise after E.U. approves AMR, BA alliance (www.marketwatch.com)

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