Iberia, owned by IAG, agrees to buy Air Europa for nearly one billion euros


Air Europa B737-800 (Image: Biggerbern Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Iberia (IB / IBE), which is 100% owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), is said to have accepted the purchase conditions of its Spanish rival Air Europa (UX / AEA) for nearly 1 billion euros (around 889 million pounds).

The deal was scrutinized after it appeared that IAG was continuing the acquisition while planning to cut 12,000 jobs from British Airways owned by IAG.

Outgoing IAG CEO Willie Walsh defended the deal, saying it was made at Iberia level and not at IAG level.

The deal would see Iberia take control of all of Air Europa’s actions, cementing Madrid as the key Spanish hub for IAG. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval.

Walsh said: “The acquisition of Air Europa would add a new competitive and profitable solution airline to IAG, consolidating Madrid as a leading European hub and enabling IAG to achieve leadership in the South Atlantic, thereby generating additional financial value for our shareholders “

It is understood that the Air Europa brand will remain in the immediate future.

But IAG among UK employees can see the deal as a stab in the back with British Airways planning to effectively fire its 42,000 employees, 30,000 being rehired on contracts with lower wages and reduced terms.

Just a few days ago, British Airways CEO Alex Cruz told staff that they must act quickly and work with unions to prevent IAG from spending £ 178 million a week.

Air Europa connects Spain to Europe, Latin America, North America and Africa with a fleet of 66 aircraft carrying nearly 12 million passengers in 2019.


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