British Airways and Iberia to MERGE

Word coming in from Australia’s The Age is that British Airways plans to merge with Spanish national carrier Iberia in light of the tightened economy and fierce competition. The two are said to be in advanced talks in preparation for a merger, though several reports from the wire proffer conflicting reports about how complete the deals is.

Surprisingly, the European Union has already granted the two carriers permission to merge, in a process that is astonishingly faster than that in the United States (case in point, Northwest and Delta).

Operationally, the merger wouldn’t be outrageous; BA already owns a large part of Iberia, they are both in the Oneworld Alliance and both have a strong presence in Western Europe. And the unity of the two carriers would make BA a stronger player in the EU and transatlantic market…

At the very least, perhaps BA will enlighten Iberia a little bit on how to make their airline a little bit less of a crap bag. I have flown on IB several times in the past few years and am still dumbfounded at the poor quality of service on the carrier.

Details on the entire event are starting to come into focus as data stream into the interwebs — we’ll let you know how and if the merger works out.