Move comes as IAG looks to create new major hub in Madrid
IAG, the owner of British Airways, has acquired Latin America specialist Air Europa for €1 billion.
If the deal goes through Air Europa, which is based in Spain, will join a stable of airlines that includes the UK flag carrier as well as Iberia, Level, Vueling and Aer Lingus.
The company said that the idea behind the deal was to create a hub in Madrid that could match the likes of London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol.
“Acquiring Air Europa would add a new competitive, cost-effective airline to IAG, consolidating Madrid as a leading European hub and resulting in IAG achieving South Atlantic leadership, therefore generating additional financial value for our shareholders,” said Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG.
“IAG has a strong track record of successful acquisitions, most recently with the acquisition of Aer Lingus in 2015, and we are convinced Air Europa presents a strong strategic fit for the group.”
Air Europa currently has a network of 69 destinations, with the majority being found in Latin America.