Iberia is already maneuvering to persuade Brussels to merge with Air Europa

Once the economic operation of 500 million is closed, the integration of Air Europa in Iberia enters its crucial phase. What was once a Spanish flag company must convince the competition authorities of the European Commission that the merger of both companies does not create a monopoly on some of the tracks on which they currently compete. In Brussels, there is concern that this union will harm passengers by ultimately paying more for tickets on the routes involved, and receiving worse service in the absence of competitors. Therefore, Iberia is already planning a plan to transfer routes to other airlines so that the General Directorate of Competition does not object to the process. All efforts are now focused on this issue. Sources close to the company confirm that with this aim it has already started working with competition lawyers and with other important interlocutors, although they did not disclose their identity. Because the success of the operation depends on overcoming this oversight. In fact, this was the stage at which Iberia’s previous purchase agreement for Air Europa came into effect. The competition department in Brussels did not like the proposal of “compensations” (concessions for competing airlines) put forward by parent company IAG two years ago. In December 2021, after six months of investigation, Brussels realized that the proposed package of solutions “did not adequately address identified competition concerns”. Specifically, the Executive Vice President, Margrethe Vestager, indicated in a letter dated December 16, 2021, that the proposed merger has affected competition on certain national, short and long-haul routes within, to and from Spain. In this proposal, Iberia has primarily offloaded tasks to two airlines. On domestic flights with Volotea and on Latin American flights with World2fly (Iberostar). But the General Administration of Competition was not enough “taking into account the results of the market test” carried out during the investigation. What would be the formula chosen now? From Iberia they have not yet revealed the new strategy, but everything indicates that they will turn to more companies to concede routes that will generally affect connections between Barajas with the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands in the national section, and some Latin American destinations in the long radius. The last to show interest in these perks was Ryanair. Last week, the airline’s CEO, Eddie Wilson, made a declaration of intent by asserting that the low-cost giant “will be interested in the conditions and opportunities created by Iberia’s purchase of Air Europa, particularly in Madrid, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.” On long-haul flights, it could Another beneficiary is the airline rescued by the government with 53 million, Plus Ultra.Because of its size and competition on some routes with Iberia and Air Europa (Caracas, Lima and Bogota), it is positioned as one of the favourites.Record related news IAG does not earn 431 million because Tourism ‘boom’ and return of business trips Antonio Ramirez Cerezo The parent company of Iberia has achieved income above 23,000 million in 2022 and expects an operating profit of up to 2,300 million this year At the moment nothing is clear and an efficient operation can take as long Up to 18 months. European Commission sources tell this newspaper that they have not yet received official notification from IAG about the new takeover agreement by Air Europa. A deal concluded in the last week of February. Iberia has already announced that If talks with the competition fail again, “it is time to turn the page on the” process “and we will focus on strengthening the” Barajas Center “. Its parent company, IAG, has also put the purchase of Portuguese state airline TAP in the spotlight. Control of Barajas Were it not for competition objections, the giant resulting from the merger of the two airlines would control half of Barajas’ operations. According to Aena data, the two airlines signed 171,750 commercial takeoffs and landings at Madrid Airport last year, 49% of the total (351,000). In any case, Iberia’s aspirations for this purchase continue to grow. They have already made it clear that they need Air Europa planes to fly to Asian destinations and that there are no workers left from the airline still in the hands of the Hidalgo family.

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