Iberia’s shrinking losses bolster merger hope

IMPROVING air cargo demand allowed Spain’s Iberia to post better-than-expected results for the first half of the year.

The carrier lost €72 million (US$91.3 million) over the period instead of the expected €88 million ($111.6 million). This was thanks to posting operating profits for the second quarter, breaking a run of six loss-making quarters. Revenue rose 2.8 per cent to €2.23 billion ($2.82 billion).

Iberia’s chairman, Antonio Vazquez (right), said the results now ensure that the proposed merger with British Airways (BA) can go ahead, as long as the board approves BA’s own recovery plan. BA is saddled with a massive £3.7 billion pension deficit.

“I can’t anticipate what [the board’s] decision will be…but we expect to meet the end-September deadline,” Vazquez said.

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