BA and Iberia agree £5bn merger as Unite announces new strike ballot Business The Guardian: "British Airways shareholders backed a £5bn merger with Spain's Iberia but the Unite trade union overshadowed the occasion by announcing a new cabin crew strike ballot at BA.
Extraordinary general meetings in London and Madrid approved the creation of International Airlines Group – a carrier with 400 aircraft, serving more than 250 destinations and employing about 57,000 staff – that hopes to compete with multinational rivals Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.
In one of his last public acts as chief executive of BA, Willie Walsh told investors that the combined group would have 'considerable scale', including access to Latin American markets via Iberia's Madrid hub.
'We have always identified Latin America as a growth market, one where BA is under-represented,' said Walsh, who will become chief executive of IAG when the company launches in January. 'We are very pleased to have the combined network of BA and Iberia.'"