The new Unite union intensifies its campaign against the purchase of Air Europa by Iberia after it was revealed that a new agreement between the two could be close after there was a possible pact to halve the price agreed in November of one billion euros up to 500 million due to the coronavirus crisis.
The British union Unite, which has sent several of its representatives to Spain to try to get the airline group to rethink its adjustment plan on British Airways, warns that the purchase of Air Europa “will bring bad news for jobs and prices”, in its offensive to knock down the operation (Unite lands in Spain to put pressure on IAG and warns: “Iberia will be next”).
It also states that it is preparing an official complaint to the European Commission in the event that state aid is used to finance the operation, since at this moment the Iberia group has proposed salary cuts and dismissals of its staff from different brands such as British Airways, while planning a millionaire absorption.
In a letter to several Spanish ministers and to the Vice President of the Government, Pablo Iglesias, he insists that the purchase proposal, by which Air Europa would join Iberia, “is not in the interest of the Spanish” (Iberia completes the purchase of Air Europa for 500 million).
The union argues that jobs “will not be guaranteed under an IAG that is taking an increasingly aggressive stance against its workers”, and ensures that “it would be a terrible deal for consumers, because if Air Europa becomes IAG, this it would have a monopoly on flights to and from Spain ”.
“It means that they will not need to have as many flights and could raise prices, since consumers will have less supply,” says Unite executive director Sharon Graham, whose union recommends that Spanish ministers do not hand over money from Spaniards to Iberia / IAG “without asking for anything in return”.
“IAG is not a Spanish company”, since “only 3% of its shareholding is in Spanish hands”, so “your money would go to a company whose large investments are controlled by the Qatari royal family and by large US investment funds ”, he assures (Iberia would buy Air Europa for half the agreed price).
The Spanish Government has stated on several occasions its willingness to push the merger of the two companies into one, to improve Spanish positioning in the Latin American aviation market, by the time it reopens its doors. Iberia will present its economic results this Friday and it is contemplated that by then the operation can be confirmed.
The decision of the European Union to keep out of the list of “safe” countries the United States and practically all of Latin America, with the sole exception of Uruguay, represents a serious setback for the two leading airlines in Spain, Iberia and Air Europa. (The European Union maintains the veto to the US and Latin America).
Globalia put conditions to the Spanish Government so that the rescue that it is going to request is without the State being part of its capital, and that the Hidalgo family can remain as the main shareholder. Thus, her plan is to request a participative loan of between 200 and 250 million euros for Air Europa, which, if it is not returned, would force the nationalization of the airline, but at least with this formula, “time is saved”.