The airline group IAG, which includes Iberia, notified the European Commission on Monday of its purchase of the remaining 80% of Air Europa’s capital, a transaction valued at 400 million euros that both companies agreed upon in February of this year.
Following this step, the European Commission has a period of 25 working days to evaluate the transaction in accordance with the first phase of concentration control as outlined in EU regulations.
“Today, we have notified our proposal for the purchase of Air Europa to the European Commission,” announced IAG’s CEO, Luis Gallego, in a statement.
Brussels could approve the acquisition after this phase or, if it maintains doubts about the effects of the transaction, initiate an in-depth investigation that would last for 90 working days and could be extended if necessary.
“We have today notified our proposal for the purchase of Air Europa to the European Commission,” stated IAG’s CEO, Luis Gallego, who argued that the operation “will offer benefits to consumers and the Spanish economy in general, as well as enhance Madrid’s competitiveness compared to other hubs in Europe.”
IAG has always supported this acquisition because the growth of Madrid as a global aviation hub relies on the acquisition of Air Europa, as emphasized on various occasions by top executives of IAG, Luis Gallego, and Iberia, Fernando Candela.
They have consistently argued that the purchase of Air Europa “is a very positive operation for Spain and for the Madrid hub, enabling us to compete with the major hubs in Northern Europe,” Gallego stated, “allowing us to have a more global hub that looks not only towards the Atlantic but also towards Asia.”
Gallego added on November 14 in New York that Asia, emerging from a prolonged phase of route closures due to COVID, presents significant opportunities, but for the moment, IAG is focused on strengthening partnerships with other partners (and mentioned Qatar Airways) “that allow us to fly to Asia via Doha without deploying our own capacity.”