British Airways and Iberia are close to landing a merger deal after hammering out much of the fine detail.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh said yesterday that early sticking points including pensions and the share of ownership are no longer issues while positions such as the chairman, chief executive and chief financial officer have also been settled.

Synergies have also been settled and reports claim savings of around £400 million have been identified.

The key remaining factor under debate is how much control the new parent company Topco would have over each of the two airlines, which will retain their independent brands, following the merger.

The spokeswoman added: ”The merger is seen to be a good deal for BA and Iberia.”