Iberia and British Airways say the delay in the merger is nothing to do with BA strikes

Airport news for UK Airports on 01/04/2010.

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The proposed merger of Iberia and British Airways has been temporarily shelved due to what has been described as ‘technical issues’. The papers for the joint initiative were due to be signed yesterday at the end of the first quarter. This, however, has not transpired and neither airline can give an exact date for when negotiations will be resumed.

The reason for the delay has been cited as ‘technical issues’ by a BA spokeswomen, but it has been denied that these technical issues have anything to do with the ongoing dispute over cabin crew strikes. Spanish media reports have linked the hold up to legal problems, but this, also, has not been confirmed.

It is hoped that an agreement can be reached by the middle of April, but it is reported that BA must first strike a deal with its pension fund trustees, after £3.7 billion was wiped out during strikes over the last two weeks. Iberia can reportedly pull out of the deal if a satisfactory solution is not reached.

An Iberia spokesman has reiterated that the BA strikes have not affected the deal and that he hopes the papers can be signed within the month. He also claimed that the pension issues has not featured in the delay.

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