British Airways and Iberia expand links

09 October 2002

British Airways and Iberia are expanding their code-sharing arrangements to cover their services between their London Heathrow and Madrid and Barcelona hubs as the oneworld™ partners deepen their bilateral working relationship.

The code-share expansion takes off from the start of the new flying season, on 27 October. It will result in a total of 11 jointly coded BA/IB flights a day between Heathrow and Madrid and eight between the London airport and Barcelona.

It marks the first phase by the carriers to implement the wide-ranging commercial agreement, signed in July – and follows the overall oneworld strategy of extending the levels of co-operating between all member airlines.

British Airways and Iberia started working together in 1999, with the UK company acquiring a 9 per cent stake in the Spanish airline a year later, as part of its privatisation.

The pair already now code-share on around 40 routes and represent each other as sales agents in 27 countries worldwide. Other aspects of their July 2002 agreement will see them carrying out joint network planning, co-ordinating capacity and pricing and sharing more airport facilities to improve transfer services at Madrid, Barcelona and London.

Michael Jackson, British Airways' Head of Alliances and Franchises, said: "This move marks a significant step forward in our relationship with Iberia and will deliver significant customer benefits through improved frequencies, more choice and greater value for our customers. It also reflects our commitment to finding new opportunities to work together in the interests of our customers and to strengthen our strategic global alliance, oneworld."

Elvira Herrero, Iberia's International Relations Director, said: "This progress in our co-operation will bring our Madrid and London Heathrow hubs closer together, providing customers with much greater choice and improved travel options."

Besides British Airways and Iberia, oneworld – named the world's best airline alliance in what are believed to be the first awards for this sector of the travel industry (Business Traveller 2002) - comprises American Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific Airways, LanChile, Finnair and Aer Lingus. Together, they offer the most international network of any of the global airline alliances, serving more countries than any competitor, with flights to some 570 destinations in 135 countries. oneworld members are committed to working together to make global travel smoother, easier, better value and more rewarding than any individual airline can by itself, including opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer awards across the entire alliance network, and access to more than 350 lounges worldwide for the most frequent flyers.