Nov 4, 2019

IAG to buy Air Europa as airline group seeks to open up South America

International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, has agreed to buy Air Europa for €1bn, as it seeks to open up the South American transatlantic market and turn Madrid into Europe's next hub airport. It would also open up new routes to Latin America and the Caribbean market, and give IAG a 26 per cent share in the Europe to Latin American market, up from 19 per cent. The acquisition comes after IAG was thwarted in a previous attempt to spread its wings into South America when the Chilean Supreme Court this year struck down a proposed joint venture with American Airlines and Chile-headquartered Latam. IAG's chief executive Willie Walsh said the timing of the Air Europa deal, coming a little more than a month after US carrier Delta paid $1.9bn for a 20 per cent stake in Latam, was coincidental. Air Europa will join IAG's growing stable of airlines, which include Ireland's Aer Lingus and low-cost carriers Vueling and Level.

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