After more than 15 months of negotiations, British Airways
and Spain’s Iberia
have come to terms on a merger that will make the combined companies one of world’s
largest airlines. With competition from the low-cost carriers breathing down their necks, the new tag team
in the sky will now boast annual revenue of nearly $20 billion!
Although it will take another year or so for the deal to be
completed, this surely changes the way millions of passengers will fly from now
on. In 2008, British Airways and Iberia
carried a combined 62 million passengers on 419 airplanes.
British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh, who will head
the new company, predicts monumental increases in profit. Walsh sees this as a
very smart move to make in such a dreadful economy that has hurt the airline
industry big time. Cost savings and increased revenue will definitely help this
new team thrive in today’s super competitive airline market.
Not everyone is thrilled by the move. A certain eccentric low-cost carrier based out of Ireland called the merger, "two drunks trying to prop each other up." Ouch.
Source: The Wall Street Journal and picture courtesy of Flickr member spotterjohnsen