Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

IAG gambles €100 million that it can still acquire Air Europa

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

The saga of IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, and its pursuit of Spanish airline Air Europa refuses to die.

To summarise events so far:

  • In November 2019, IAG announced a €1 billion plan to acquire Air Europa, which would see the airline leave the SkyTeam alliance, join oneworld and adopt Avios as its loyalty currency
IAG gambles €100 million that it can still acquire Air Europa
  • The announcement went down badly with the EU because it would give IAG 73% of the domestic Spanish airline market (the figure is even higher if you exclude intra-Canary Islands services)
  • During the pandemic, IAG managed to halve the acquisition price to €500 million, with no requirement to pay until 2026
  • In November 2021, the UK announced its own investigation into the deal, because Air Europa is a low cost competitor on certain long haul routes from Britain via a connection in Madrid
  • In December 2021, IAG appeared to throw in the towel and was preparing to pay the €40 million abort fee it had promised if the deal did not complete
  • In February 2022, it was reported that Air Europa had opened discussions with other airlines

IAG has now decided that if it can’t have Air Europa, no one else will have it either.

IAG has agreed to lend Globalia, Air Europa’s parent, €100 million with no security. Clearly no bank would be willing to lend money to a loss making travel and tourism group on such terms.

The catch is that Globalia has had to agreee not to sell Air Europa to another other airline for next 12 months. For the following three years, Air Europa has to guarantee IAG the opportunity to match any bid made by another airline.

IAG is clearly hoping that, given enough time, it can find a way around the regulatory hurdles. The problem is that there is no other domestic carrier in Spain which is large enough to take on the routes that Air Europa would need to sell. IAG may need to find a way of creating ‘an airline within an airline’ which could be sold as a stand-alone carrier and future competitor.

Comments (28)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ianmac says:

    I’ve already booked Waldorf Astoria Orlando for 5 nights in late July this year
    The room would be 80,000 points/night => 400,000 points so at 0.38p => £1,520
    Booking via Hilton website as Diamond HH member costs between £2,236 (non refundable) and £2,559
    I actually booked via BA Holidays for £1,070 !!
    I probably won’t get any HH Diamond benefits (I have been successful with breakfast in the past at that hotel …)

    • Ianmac says:

      The 5 for 4 night offer did not show on my test booking ….
      Using 4 x 80,000 points => 320,000 points at 0.38p => £1,216

      • Rob says:

        You need elite status to get 544.

        • Ianmac says:

          I’m HH Diamond so it should have given me 544 ?

          • Rob says:

            If logged in, yes. It’s automatic in the pricing as long as you have five nights in the booking priced at standard levels. Never heard of any issues getting this to work.

    • NorthernLass says:

      Contact the hotel in advance and ask them to add your membership number to the booking. I’ve always got my status perks when booking Hilton properties through BA Holidays. is also cheaper than booking direct in a lot of cases atm!

  • ADS says:

    “Globalia has had to agreed not to sell Air Europa to another other airline for next 12 months”

    Surely the competition regulators won’t look favourably on such anti competitive deals ?

    • Rob says:

      Globalia is a private company, not quoted. It can do what it likes.

      • ADS says:

        Surely private companies are still subject to competition regulators ?!

        • Rob says:

          Not in this scenario. A quoted company is always for sale – the price is in the newspaper every morning. This is not the case for a private company.

          Not any different to, say, Amex offering HfP a huge ad contract as long as we agreed not to sell the site to another credit card group whilst the contract was running.

  • captaindave says:

    Having previously cleared out my virgin points, i have around 8.5K now, and was gonna wait till 10K then swap them for Hilton points.

    But thought of a cunning plan 🙂 – Buy some vinyl off Virgin Red, stick em on ebay, then use the cash towards the Hilton BOGOF offer.
    Potentially more hilton points, but more hassle i guess.. hmmm

  • Tony says:

    The buy Hilton points portal on points dot com hasn’t been working for the last few days so it hasn’t been possible to buy any Hilton points, let alone double-up.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.