British Airways and Iberia Airlines today unveiled plans to deepen their relationship in a move that will deliver significant benefits for international air travellers and the two businesses.
The airlines, whose networks are complementary, have signed a commercial agreement to work more closely across their global networks including the UK and Spanish markets, where they face vigorous competition from the full service, no-frills and charter carriers.
When fully developed and implemented, the new deal will enable the airlines to:
- Develop improved frequent flyer programmes and services
- Share airport facilities to improve transfer services at Madrid, Barcelona and London
- Extend code-sharing services
- Coordinate sales and marketing programmes
- Undertake joint network planning and coordinate capacity and pricing
- Coordinate cargo services
Key consumer benefits will include access to more destinations and more convenient schedules, extending lower fares to a wider range of destinations, a more attractive frequent flyer programme and new improved check-in and luggage facilities.
The airlines, which have seen their revenues fall dramatically following the events of September 11, are seeking to improve their network services and overall efficiency through the deal. By improving their cost structures they will be able to serve a wider range of destinations more effectively.
British Airways’ Chief Executive, Rod Eddington, and Iberia’s Chairman, Xabier de Irala, said: “Our proposal for closer cooperation is a competitive response to the changing and challenging market environment and marks a step forward in our efforts to progress consolidation in Europe.
“It will enable us to improve our cost structure, create a network that can compete with increasingly integrated alliances and serve a wider network for our customers.”