News

Willie Walsh got a new job this month: the Irish government hired the British Airways supremo as chairman of advisers to its state debt agency. And the latest evidence of the impact of Mr Walsh’s drastic cost-cutting at International Airlines Group (IAG) suggests the Irish couldn’t have found a better person for the job.

Iberia backs BA plan for pension scheme

The merger between British Airways and Iberia moved a step closer today after the Spanish airline approved BA's plan to deal with a £3.7 billion pension deficit.

EU clears BA-Iberia merger for take-off

The European Commission has signed off both the merger of British Airways and Iberia and proposals for the newly merged group to tie up with American Airlines (AA).

BA-Iberia merger given green light by Europe

A merger between British Airways and Spain's Iberia national carrier was approved by the European Commission today.

BA shareholders face union protest

British Airways shareholders will face a union protest today before the airline's annual meeting in London.

Union urges BA to end 'fixation with conflict'

The Unite union, currently engaged in a bitter cabin crew dispute with British Airways, will be handing out letters to shareholders attending tomorrow's annual meeting of the airline.

Travel Agenda: Okinawa Day; Hotel Le Seven; Britain to Rio de Janeiro

Today: Find out about Japan's southern islands at Okinawa Day in London's Spitalfields, which celebrates art, music and food from this sub-tropical archipelago (okinawaday.org.uk). From Asia to Iberia ... the capital is also celebrating Spanish food in Potters Fields Park next to City Hall with Tapas Fantasticas. The event, which runs over the weekend, celebrates wines from Rioja and the country's venerated food ( winesfromrioja.co.uk/tapasfantasticas ).

Hold the frills: How budget airlines broadened our horizons

It's a quarter of a century this summer since Ryanair took to the skies. Budget airlines may have their critics, but they have set us free, argues Simon Calder

BA strikes deal to repair £3.7bn pensions deficit

British Airways has struck a deal with its pension trustees on a recovery plan designed to address the airline's ballooning pensions deficit and smooth the planned merger with Spanish flag carrier Iberia.

BA agrees pensions plan ahead of merger

British Airways said today that it had agreed a recovery plan for its underfunded pension schemes in a move which paves the way for its merger with Spanish rival Iberia.

BA's dream of US alliance to take off at last

Willy Walsh is under seige, but his proposed deal with American Airlines will soon get the go-ahead

Travel Challenge: An adventure in Peru

Every week, we invite companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a two-week journey around Peru, leaving in mid June. Prices are per person based on two sharing.

KLM counts the cost of the ash cloud

The airline's president talks to Mark Leftly about how the industry viewed the EU's response to the catastrophe

David Prosser: The pensions regulator is all-powerful

Outlook No one could accuse Tony Hobman, the chief executive of the Pensions Regulator who announced his departure yesterday, of failing to serve his time. He has run the regulator for five years, since it was first set up to protect the interests of millions of members of occupational pension schemes.

Simon Calder: A mean Spirit in the skies for budget flyers?

The man who pays his way
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there