Willie Walsh, CEO of the British Airways, expects to finish the proposed merger of BA with Iberia before the end of 2009.
The merger with Iberia was proposed previous summer but the deal has stalled since than.
Speaking on the issue of the Spanish flag carrier, Iberia, Mr. Walsh said, "I would hope that it could be done by the end of the year. It's gone on for far too long to be honest but that has not distracted us from what needs to be done."
Willie Walsh was speaking during his flight BA001, a luxury, all-business class transatlantic service from London City to New York, which British Airways launched on Tuesday.
Iberia became concerned about the size of BA's soaring pension deficit, which is reaching £3 billion mark, plus there have also been disagreements about the new management structure.
British Airways has also showed interest in acquiring BMI from Lufthansa, though no formal discussions have been held yet.
In addition, Mr. Walsh warned that BA would scale back flights at Heathrow in case plans for the third runway are scrapped.