Shareholders of both British Airways and Spain’s Iberia have given their blessing for the two national carriers to merge.
The two brands will operate separately but the new company, International Airlines Group, will be Europe’s second largest after Air France-KLM. It will have a market value of around 5.3 billion euros.
BA and Iberia agreed to merge two years ago, when peak oil prices were weighing down the airline industry. Both have returned to profit this year with BA gaining 40 percent in value and Iberia 70 percent since January.
The new structure’s chairman will be Iberia’s Antonio Vazquez, while Willie Walsh will remain CEO.
The merger has just one hurdle left: the High Court in the UK but is expected to be operational in January.