Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana hired Mercer to analyze British Airways pension funds as part of a possible merger of the airlines, an Iberia spokeswoman confirmed.
The spokeswoman said the analysis would be completed by the end of January but would not provide additional details. A spokeswoman for Mercer declined to comment, citing client confidentiality rules.
The airlines began merger talks in July. BA has a £1.7 billion ($2.5 billion) combined funding shortfall in its two defined benefit plans. The £6.5 billion British Airways Pension Scheme and the £6.6 billion New Airways Pension Scheme, both of Hounslow, England, are closed to new members.