June 18, 2021

Iberia cedes new routes for Brussels to approve the purchase of Air Europa “on the fast track”


Madrid

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Iberia wants to resolve the purchase of Air Europe, but is aware of the complexity of the operation. That is why the airline is reaching agreements with small airlines to transfer routes, both short and long-haul, in which a monopoly could be created with the acquisition of the Globalia group company.

A few months ago it reached an agreement with Volotea to supply it with short radio frequencies. And this week World2Fly, Iberostar’s airline, has announced a similar agreement, but with long-haul routes, especially aimed at Iberoamerica. «It is important in the process of facilitating the operation to be proactive in offering
competition in some corridors
», Explained this Thursday in Fitur the president of the company, Javier Sánchez-Prieto.

With this strategy, Iberia intends to “mitigate the conflictive aspects” of the file that it will present to Brussels to close the operation. The intention is that the European Commission gives the green light to the purchase, valued at 500 million euros, “on the fast track”, before the end of 2021.

Before the acquisition is on the table of the Community Executive, it will have to be approved by the Spanish Government, which rescued Air Europa at the end of 2020 with two loans valued at 475 million. Sánchez-Prieto explained this Thursday that the negotiations continue to advance and “there is a good level of understanding with the Government and the organizations involved.” “There has been an awareness of the importance of this purchase for the Madrid hub and for Spain”, highlighted the manager.

As published by ABC, with Air Europe In its guts, Iberia will try to turn the Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport into a gateway to Latin America that also looks to Asia. “We have to open up to the East, it is essential to create a new tourism model,” explained the president of the airline, who points out that only 5% of the routes of the Madrid airfield for now go to Asia.

Ban on flights in 2050

Iberia has planned an ambitious summer season with 114 destinations, three of them unprecedented: Maldives, Ljubljana and Azores. According to his calculations, by the end of July it could recover 60% of its offer if vaccination advances and restrictions are relaxed. In terms of environmental sustainability, the pandemic has accelerated the withdrawal of the A340 / 600, while new A350s were being incorporated. And with regard to the staff, the firm seeks to become “brand ambassadors” to customers. A first gesture could be seen on Wednesday in Fitur, where a group of workers received the Kings at the company’s stand.

Sánchez-Prieto has also valued the Government’s intention to prohibit flights that have an alternative to travel by train of less than 2.5 hours, included in the Spain 2050 project presented this Thursday.

The manager recalled that the geographical uniqueness of Spain means that there are not “many alternatives” to the plane in certain regions. “Trying to take things to the extreme is never positive”, defended Sánchez-Prieto, who nevertheless recalled the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

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