Turbulence ahead for merged BA-Iberia?

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Turbulence ahead for merged BA-Iberia?

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Shares have started trading of International Airlines Group – the new company combining British Airways and Iberia.

They were traded on stock exchanges in Spain in euros and London in pounds from Monday.

As with the merger of Air France and KLM, the airline’s names will not change; they will continue to operate under the brands BA and Iberia.

They believe that by combining operations they can trim 400 million euros off annual costs within five years.

However the merged carrier still has a list of longstanding issues to deal with, including repeated industrial action by BA cabin crew and a big pension deficit.

BA staff have just voted again for further strike action in a long-running battle over proposed job and pay cuts.

Iberia’s staff too have a history of industrial unrest. The companies did highlight employee harmony as a key risk in merger documents published earlier this month.

The new shares were little changed on the first day of trading. As they launched BA’s boss Willie Walsh promised expansion with what he called “the right airlines” joining the group.