Yesterday, the Balearic parliament considered the planned acquisition of Air Europa by IAG. Transport minister Marc Pons said that the government will be keeping a close eye on developments, will be presenting its “proposals” and will be defending the interests of the people of the islands.
Pons observed that, at present, there is simply an intention for the sale of Air Europa to go ahead. He outlined the institutional stages the acquisition will have to pass through before it can take place.
These start with Spain’s National Competition and Markets Commission before ending with approval by the Council of the European Union.
There would then have to be one year of integration and three years during which Air Europa as a business would have to be maintained. This, Pons noted, is what the purchase agreement refers to in principle.
Catalina Pons of El Pi suggested that much though the Balearic government might protest, the power lies in Madrid. Nevertheless, the government should do what it can in ensuring that the maximum possible number of jobs remain in the Balearics.
President Armengol reiterated in parliament that she had been given a promise that the sale of Air Europa would not affect jobs and air connectivity. She added that there will shortly be a meeting between the Balearic government and Iberia in order to hear what plans the airline has.
Josep Castells of Més Minorca observed that when there is a sale which affects a strategic sector for a regional community (e.g. the Balearics), the competition commission has established that there should be a report within twenty days. He wasn’t aware of the government working on such a report.
Armengol replied that the report is being undertaken and that, as always, it will “defend the interests of the Balearics”.