BA seals alliance with American Airlines and Iberia

British Airways, American Airlines and Spanish carrier Iberia have signed off on a long-awaited strategic alliance that will see them cooperate on flights between Europe and North America.

"The joint business will launch this October," British Airways said in a statement.

"It will ... enable the airlines' alliance Oneworld to compete on an equal footing with the other main global alliances that have had regulatory approval to operate trans-atlantic joint businesses for several years."

BA agreed a £5BN merger with Iberia in April, creating the world's third biggest airline and bringing it a step closer to a tie-up with AMR Corp's American Airlines.

The three airlines won approval from the US government and the European Union to work together in July.