Iberia authorized to acquire 20% stake in Air Europa

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The operation for the purchase of Air Europa by Iberia goes ahead after the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) and the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) gave their approval to the loan of 100 Million Euros which IAG granted to Globalia for becoming 20% of the airline.

This was announced this Thursday in Washington by Iberia’s CEO, Mr. Javier Sánchez-Prieto, who explained at a press conference on the occasion of the inauguration of the route to the U.S. capital that, after this first step, it is now necessary to get the authorization of three countries in terms of competition, EFE reported.

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These are Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom, where Air Europa operates and where a six-month period is now open for their competition authorities to give their approval to the conversion of the loan into 20% of the capital.

Sánchez-Prieto has warned that this 20% is a financial investment by Iberia, but will not give it influence in the management of Air Europa.

In any case, the idea is to continue working with Globalia, with the Competition authorities and with SEPI in order to end up having 100 % of the company.

On the other hand, Sánchez-Prieto presented a Price Waterhouse report according to which Iberia generates directly, indirectly and induced more than 9,300 million euros to the GDP of Spain (0.6%) and 164,206 jobs in the country (0.9% of the total) and has detailed the transformation plan of the company to regain profitability in 2022.

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This is the plan launched in 2021 (Next Chapter) and with a 2024 horizon, with five pillars: trusted airline, financial soundness, reinforcement of its Madrid hub, focus on people and sustainability as a cross-cutting element, the executive pointed out.

The company seeks to position itself as the preferred option to fly to and from Spain, to position its maintenance business as a reference center in Europe and to win as many licenses as possible in the upcoming tenders for ground handling services to be launched this year.

Iberia has carried out 2,100 hirings and, in addition, since the end of the temporary lay-offs (ERTE) on February 28, it has already carried out 800 contract transformations at airports.

The company has hired another 1,700 people for the summer, 1,200 are reinstatements of temporary employees and 500 new hires.

Among the group of cabin crew members, 340 professionals have already joined the company up to June and 400 more will be hired by July 15.

It is also expected that in the last quarter of the year the first pilots of Iberia’s cadet program will join, more than 40, and will cover both the retirements that will take place and the increase in capacity that the company has planned for 2023.

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