//British Airways owner acquires Air Europa for €1bn

British Airways owner acquires Air Europa for €1bn

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.

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.