Iberia CCO says airline now more pessimistic about Air Europa deal

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FILE PHOTO: Iberia and Air Europa planes parked at Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport

By Clara-Laeila Laudette

MADRID -Iberia airline’s chief commercial officer said on Thursday the Spain-based company was now more pessimistic than optimistic about the acquisition of its rival Air Europa after the latest regulatory setback in the half-billion-euro takeover bid.

“We want to keep pushing for this, but the situation has grown ever more complicated,” Iberia CCO Maria Jesus Lopez said at an event on the future of aviation held in Madrid.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority earlier this week said it would examine whether the 500 million euro ($560.35 million) transaction would harm competition in the UK, setting Jan. 19 as the deadline for its initial decision.

IAG said that it would cooperate with the CMA’s investigation.

In a previous attempt to secure the deal, British Airways and Iberia owner International Airlines Group offered concessions to address EU antitrust concerns.

The EU executive, which has not provided details in line with its policy, has extended its deadline for a decision on the deal to Jan. 4, casting doubts on whether the bid will go through.

($1 = 0.8923 euros)

(Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Jesús Aguado, Kirsten Donovan)


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