The proposed merger between British Airways and Iberia would be bad for consumers as the flag-carrying airlines would raise ticket prices on their competing routes, Michael O'Leary, CEO of discount Irish carrier Ryanair, told CNBC Friday.
"I would characterize it as two drunks holding each other up on the way home," O'Leary said. "All you get when you put two high-fare, loss-making airlines together is even higher fares and even bigger losses."
"I think it's great for Ryanair's business," O'Leary added.
If the preliminary agreement for the $7 billion deal gets the go-ahead from shareholders, the merger would create the world's third-largest airline by revenue. It's expected to be complete by the end of 2010.
BA and Iberia said in a joint statement that the merger would provide "enhanced scale to compete with other major airlines and participate in future industry consolidation."