British Airways owner buys Air Europa for €1bn

International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent of British Airways, announced on Monday a €1bn ($1.12bn) takeover of Spain’s Air Europa to boost its presence on routes to Latin America and the Caribbean. IAG also owns Iberia Express, Level, Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Vueling.

Air Europa serves 69 destinations, including long-haul routes to the Americas and the Caribbean. It had a fleet of 66 aircraft at the end of 2018. It will initially keep its brand and as it gets integrated into the existing hub at Madrid it will be a standalone operation run by Iberia boss Luis Gallego, IAG said. The company expects the Air Europa deal, which will be funded through external debt, to close in the second half of next year.

European airlines are looking to the west to achieve growth as fares are held back in the tougher market. Low-cost operator Norwegian Air signed a partnership last month with JetBlue Airways to enable European passengers to book straight through to around 100 US cities.

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