Shareholders in British Airways and Iberia have approved a £4 billion merger between the two carriers at extraordinary general meetings today.
Voting took place at meetings in London and Madrid to create a new European airline giant under the name International Airlines Group.
Ninety-nine percent of BA shareholders voted in favour of the deal.
The UK and Spanish carriers will retain their separate identities under the new umbrella organisation which will be headed by current BA chief executive Willie Walsh.
Cost savings of almost £340 million are to be sought from the combined fleet of more than 400 aircraft and a 57,000-strong workforce.
BA will link its transatlantic business partnership with American Airlines to the merged entity to develop a new global airline powerhouse.
The move reflects growing consolidation in the scheduled airline sector following the merger of Air France and KLM and Lufthansa taking over Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Bmi.