Air France-KLM breaks into the negotiations between Iberia and Air Europa, which have been trying to close their operation for months without success. The French company, which was already interested in acquiring the company from Globalia in the past, it has gotten in via acquisition and has also entered into negotiations with the company. Some conversations you'll need
the approval of the Government, Air Europa's main creditor.
Meanwhile, contacts with Iberia have cooled. This was recognized this Friday by the president of Iberia, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, in a conference with the media after the presentation of the IAG results. Sánchez-Prieto explained that the negotiations "were much more intense in December and January" than in February, when only "sporadic contacts" took place.
Despite this, in the group they do not close the door to the operation and assure that they will continue looking for "an agreement that makes sense".
The CEO of IAG, Luis Gallego, also participated in the conference. Although he did not directly mention Air France, he acknowledged that they are aware that Air Europa is negotiating with other rival groups. In this sense, Gallego has sent a notice to the Government, which is also present in the sale of the airline for being its largest creditor and having granted two credits valued at 475 million euros. «IAG bets on Spain, but if the operation were closed outside the group it would be catastrophic for the country, "said the manager, who has also assured that he does not know what opinion the Executive has of the signing of an agreement with another company other than Iberia.
When it was announced initial operation between Iberia and Air Europalater truncated by the impact of the coronavirus, the IAG airline assured that after the acquisition it would create a large 'hub' at the airport of
Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas capable of looking not only at Latin America, but also at Asia.
Air France, however, would have other plans for Air Europa, and these would go through the Paris airport. “It is not us who are looking for other alternatives. It won't be for us», asserted Gallego, who also explained that the IAG subsidiary has been actively working on the operation for four years.
The initial sale agreement (first estimated at one billion euros and then at 500) was broken in December, but both companies then took a few weeks to reach a new agreement. On January 31 this term expired and, to this day, from Iberia they assure that "there is no new marked" and that at the group level they have to continue considering "other options", although the merger with Air Europa is still " the preferred one".
Beyond Air Europa, Gallego explained that they have a coverage policy that allows them to respond to the rise in kerosene. Regarding the conflict in Ukraine, from Iberia they assure that at the moment they are not seeing a significant impact beyond the diversion of certain routes to Asia.