Air Transport World

BA-BCAL merger: Europe's first mega-carrier. (British Airways; British Caledonian)

BA-BCAL merger: Europe's first mega-carrier

Planned merger of British Airways and British Caledonian (the deal is being considered by the Office of Fair Trading at this writing) would create Europe's first "mega-carrier,' with a total fleet of 190 airliners, unduplicated route network of 600,000 kilometers, 22 million passengers a year and 48,000 staff.

Meeting the challenge in international aviation markets posed by the new generation of mega-carriers in the U.S. was one reason given by Sir Adam Thomson, chairman of BCAL, for wanting the merger, in which BA made an offer valuing BCAL at 237 million (U.S. $380 million). After he and Lord King, chairman of BA, had signed, at 1:30 a.m. of July 17, after talks which had lasted for two weeks, he said, "In the developing international scheduled aviation industry, only the concentration of airline resources into strong combines will result in long-term viability.

"The prospect for medium-sized scheduled airlines, however good operationally, is very uncertain when ranged against the emerging power of the mega-carriers, notably in the U. …

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