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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
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
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A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

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The masterminds behind the election

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Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
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The ethics of pet food

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