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Iberia will turn the page if there is no convention this year to the CNMC to buy Air Europa

Date: May 31, 2023 Time: 21:49:07

Iberia is set as a limit this year. The company, as its president, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, pointed out this Monday, hopes that in 2023 it will be able to convince the competition authorities in Europe of the benefits of a purchase of Air Europa for the entire sector and specifically for the clientele. This has been stated in his speech at the IX Tourism Innovation Forum organized in Madrid by Grupo Hotusa -and reported by Efe- the president of the main Spanish airline has added that, in the event that they are not able to do so in a certain period of time, “it will also be much better to turn the page” and continue, as they are doing up to now, with the development of the company.

Iberia has been negotiating the acquisition of Air Europa for three years, an operation that was initially valued at 1,000 million euros and that, after the pandemic, was reduced by half. Last August, IAG, the parent company of Iberia, took over 20% of Air Europa and has until the end of March to negotiate the purchase of the rest of its capital exclusively.

Likewise, Iberia is working to present an offer that responds to the concerns of both the European Commission and the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) about this operation, which is very important for Spain because it could boost connectivity with Asia. Asia is, according to the president of Iberia, a key market for tourism with which Spain currently has little connectivity: only 5% of all flights in Madrid and 6% at Barcelona airport.

The airlines expect to recover the pre-pandemic figures this year

In his opinion, there is no need to be afraid of consolidation and its positive elements should be valued, since what it does is make our productive system more robust, something necessary as seen in this last utility. Sánchez-Prieto hopes that the recovery that began in 2022 will be consolidated this year, which Iberia views with “moderate optimism”, since it does not observe deterioration in any of the markets in which it operates.

The CEO of Ryanair, Eddie Wilson, also expects that, after exceeding the pre-Covid figures in 2022, the airline will continue to grow this year. The person in charge of Ryanair has pointed out that the company will receive 130 new planes until 2026, of which it wants to assign “as many as it can” to Spain, a country in which it has great confidence.

Lucena praises the recovery of air traffic

In this sense, he praised the good functioning of the incentives and discounts offered by Aena at Spanish airports, since it is very important to have price stability. However, the president of Aena, Maurici Lucena, recalled that, after a decade of freezing and lowering of airport charges, in 2027, it will be necessary to reflect on them, if there is to be sufficient capacity in Spanish airports in the future and that the quality of services is maintained.

The rates in Madrid and Barcelona are more than 50% lower compared to other European airports, of which all the important ones in Europe are raising them in nominal terms. Lucena has stressed that 2022 has been a very good year in terms of air transport, recovering Spanish airports, with 244 million passengers, 88.5% of the traffic of 2019, which was the best year in history.

He added that Spain is the European country with the greatest recovery in air traffic, among other reasons because there were no operational malfunctions at its airports as has occurred at others on the continent. This is due to the fact that the labor regulation deployed by the Government to face the consequences of the pandemic lasted longer than in other countries and that the subrogation by sectoral agreements has helped to retain workers.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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