Iberia foreign relations official says airline now more pessimistic about Air Europa deal By Reuters

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Written by Clara Lyla Luddit

MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish-based airline is now more pessimistic than optimistic about acquiring rival Air Europa, the chief commercial officer of the Iberia airline said on Thursday, after the latest regulatory setback in its half-billion-euro takeover bid.

“We want to keep pushing for this, but the situation is more complex than ever,” Maria Jesus Lopez, director of operations for Iberia, said at an event on the future of aviation held in Madrid.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority said earlier this week that it would consider whether the 500 million euro ($560.35 million) deal would hurt competition in the UK, and set a January 19 deadline for making its initial decision.

IAG said it would cooperate with the CMA investigation.

In an earlier attempt to secure the deal, British Airways and International Airlines Group (LON 🙂 owner of Air Iberia offered concessions to address EU antitrust concerns.

The EU executive, who did not provide details in line with his policy, extended the deadline for a decision on the deal to January 4, casting doubt on whether the bid will pass.

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