It looks like the on again, off again, marriage between British Airways and the Spanish national carrier Iberia will take place, and probably before Christmas. Following the talks which have been dragging on for over a year.

The talks have now been all but completed, and according to BA the reason they have finally been able to strike a deal worth £4 billion, is mostly down to the intervention of Antonio Vazquez, Iberia’s new chairman.

Over the summer he pushed through a deal selling Altadis cigarettes to the giant Imperial Tobacco, and has the reputation of a go-getting dealmaker. Apparently the new broom at the Spanish airline, has managed to sweep away some of the problems that were blocking the long-running negotiations, and according to some reports, all that is left to discuss is the minor details.

At the very least British Airways expect that very soon they will have a definitive yes or no on the deal.