The president of Iberia, Luis Gallego, said Wednesday that Air Europa, once approved its purchase by the Competition authorities, will be like "a sister" for the Spanish airline integrated in the IAG group together with British Airways, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Level
Air Europa will depend organically on Iberia itself and not on the group, because Gallego believes that it will be possible to be "more efficient and better develop the hub (connection center) of Madrid," he explained in an informational meeting organized by CEOE and Cepyme.
In his opinion, having a strong airline in Spain, associated with an important hub such as Madrid, "is very good for the Spanish economy and for the creation of jobs." "The best way to protect employment is to have strong companies," he insisted.
Companies that are not strong disappear and the objective of the acquisition of Air Europa by the Anglo-Spanish group is "to develop a more efficient company, improve tourism and continue betting on Spain and its air connections," according to Gallego.
Although currently both airlines do not fit in terminal T4, where Iberia is, Gallego expects that, when their hubs overlap, operations may probably be concentrated in a terminal, which, in addition, would be "very good for the Madrid airport because it’s going to give it growth capacity in the other terminals. "
In any case, it is something that Aena must decide, Gallego added, according to whom the purchase operation of Air Europa "will get Madrid to become a first division hub and will be able to look at the entire world and not only at Latin America. "
Likewise, the purchase will be "very good for customers, who will have a better network, better schedules, better prices, better connections and better opportunities" and "will continue to help Spain generate employment and tourism," he said.
The president of Iberia has affirmed that, before launching the purchase of Air Europa, both parties have had the advice of specialized lawyers in competition and, although he believes that legal solutions will not be necessary, "logically we have considered that there may be an action for part of the European Commission ".
The purchase of Air Europa "does not affect at all" the "bréxit", since it does not modify the shareholding structure of IAG, according to Gallego.
As for the environmental movements against the air sector, he has acknowledged that there are other transport alternatives on journeys of up to 1,500 kilometers, but the reality is that above this distance "there is no real alternative to the plane".
. (tagsToTranslate) Gallego (t) insures (t) Air (t) Europe (t) Iberia