David Prosser: BA can no longer fly solo
Friday 13 November 2009
Outlook It has been two years in the making, but the British Airways merger with Iberia finally seems to have been cleared for take-off. Thank goodness for that. After a disastrous year, BA is in desperate need of some good news – the £500m of annual cost savings that analysts believe the Iberia deal could deliver certainly fit the bill.
Nor is this arrangement purely about synergies. The two airlines have clear opportunities, given their remarkably complementary set of routes, with BA strong on North Atlantic travel and connections in Asia, and Iberia dominant in flights from Europe to South America.
Still, there are risks. For example, The Independent's travel editor, Simon Calder, warns that Iberia is perceived as a much less service-oriented carrier than BA, which might cause reputational damage at the latter. And there's the prospect of another interminable competition inquiry before the deal gets green-lit by Europe's regulators.
But BA – and Iberia, for that matter – have no choice. BA's steady progress towards a closer partnership with American has its merits, but what both these airlines need is a full-blooded deal with a rival of scale. And for both parties, no one else fits the bill.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
- 4 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
iJobs Money & Business
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...
£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...