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EC approves BA international business negotiations

BA get green light for links with American Airlines and Iberia

15 July 2010

The European Commission (EC) has approved international business negotiations involving British Airways (BA) and two major airlines.

BA can now enter a joint business agreement with American Airlines after the firms agreed to competition rulings.

The two airlines will combine their resources for transatlantic flights in order compete with rival carriers.

Under the terms of the contract, the two businesses must give up four pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh said: "This is a pragmatic decision so that we can get the joint business up and running as soon as possible.

"The slot commitments provide a further guarantee that there will be no possible loss of competition as a result of our joint business."

The British airline has also been given the green light to merge with Iberia to create the International Airlines Group.

Following the completion of the deal, the newly formed company will be Europe's second-biggest airline, after Lufthansa.

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