Spanish flag carrier Iberia is to be privatised on 22 November following the resolution of a dispute between prospective shareholder British Airways and another investor over how much voting control should be granted to the UK major.

Although BA is due to take a 9% stake in Iberia, with its oneworld ally American Airlines taking 1%, the pair had been seeking a greater degree of management and voting control than might normally be afforded by a 10% holding. BA is thought to have clashed with the bank, Caja Madrid - which is also taking 10% - over the issue, but state holding company SEPI, which controls Iberia, says this has been resolved.

SEPI chairman Pedro Ferreras says there is now "total agreement" between core shareholders, allowing the privatisation to proceed from 22 November. SEPI's 94% holding will be reduced to 54% following the disposal of shares to BA/American and the parallel sale of 30% to Spanish institutional investors.

The remaining 54% will be sold via a public offering. Iberia employees will continue to control 6% of shares, with Madrid expected to retain a "golden share" for around 10 years.

With Iberia's membership of oneworld cemented, Star Alliance leader Lufthansa has expanded its partnership with the country's second largest carrier, Spanair, which is 49%-owned by Star member SAS. They will codeshare between Germany and Spain and on domestic routes. Palma de Mallorca-based Spanair also has codeshares with Star heavyweight United Airlines.

Lufthansa is also looking at co-operation with Spanair in maintenance, cargo, catering and pilot training.

Spain's number three carrier, Air Europe, has reportedly held talks with the so-called "Wings" alliance and with Air France/Delta.

• KLM is looking at establishing a joint venture airline with Norway's Braathens, of which it owns 30%. Braathens has been losing money in the highly competitive Scandinavian market, and this may have been a factor in the new move.

Source: Flight International