British Airways’ (BA) pilots union BALPA has welcomed the planned all-share merger between the UK carrier and its Spanish Oneworld partner Iberia.
Today BA and Iberia revealed they are holding merger talks with full support from both carriers’ boards. Under the deal the two airlines will continue with their existing brands and operations, but as part of a combined group under the ownership of a joint holding company.
Responding to the move BALPA general secretary Jim McAuslan says: “We have been anticipating this move for some time and are already in talks with the pilots’ association in Spain. We support these merger discussions. Consolidation in the airline industry is inevitable and a merger of BA with Iberia makes good sense.
“We trust the two companies will take their pilots fully into the process and consult with BALPA and the Spanish pilots’ association very closely indeed. We have a lot to offer in the planning stages and want to be full partners in this enterprise.
“We do not expect any pilot job losses. Consolidation should lead to growth opportunities, as has been found in the Air France-KLM venture.”
Earlier this year BA faced the threat of industrial action from BALPA’s members over its plans to recruit crews for its new OpenSkies subsidiary from outside its mainline pilot corps. The union later dropped its court and strike action to avoid the prospect of a lengthy and expensive legal battle.
Source: flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news