I don't know if you ever watched the controversial Anthony Hopkins advertisements for Barclays Bank but the slogan for the campaign was that these days everything has to be big. And this is the case with the Iberia-Air Europa merger. To survive you have to be big. This may be the corporate bottom-line but where does it leave the consumer. At the moment in the Spanish aviation industry there is a nice balance with both Iberia, Air Europa and Spanair competing quite nicely against each other on domestic flights. But if you take a major player out of the equation and add it to another you are left with a situation which in the long-run creates a monopoly. Already we are seeing the creation of European-wide monopolies at a time when the European Commission is desperately trying to rid us of them. The only advantage I see for the consumer on the horizon is when the government approves “the Open Sky” agreement which will allow foreign airlines to operate domestic services in Spain. Only they will be big enough to compete against the two airlines if they merge.

Jason Moore

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