British Airways might become Spanish in case of no-deal Brexit

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British Airways might become Spanish in case of no-deal Brexit

By
12 November 2018

By | 12 November 2018

The airline’s owner is reportedly seeking Spanish government’s support

Britain‘s flag carrier could soon belong to a different country. The International Airlines Group — owner of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia — has reportedly asked for Madrid’s help in its campaign to retain its operating rights in case of no-deal Brexit.  

No-deal Brexit could threaten the IAG status as a European carrier – Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock British Airways might become Spanish in case of no-deal Brexit Group Created with Sketch. A no-deal Brexit could threaten IAG’s status as a European carrier – Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock

According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, IAG has been in talks with Madrid since at least last month. The group aims to prove to the European Union that it complies with its airline ownership rules.

The UK will leave the European Union in four months, however, the government has not yet secured a withdrawal agreement with Brussels.

If prime minister Theresa May fails to reach a deal, the status of IAG as a European company could be threatened.

Current rules require airlines to be more than 50 per cent EU-owned to be considered European. IAG has to prove that it fits the requirements.

Last month, European transport commissioner Violeta Bulc claimed that she would not bend the rules for IAG in case of no-deal Brexit.

IAG was created in 2011 when Bthe group combined British Airways and Iberia —   Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock British Airways might become Spanish in case of no-deal Brexit Group Created with Sketch. IAG was created in 2011 when British Airways and Iberia merged — Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock

However, the group remains optimistic that a deal will be secured eventually.

“We remain confident that a comprehensive air transport agreement between the EU and the UK will be reached. It’s in the UK and the EU’s interests to have a fully liberalised aviation agreement,” IAG told The Times.

“Even if there is no Brexit deal, both the EU and the UK have said they will put an agreement in place that allows flights to continue.”

IAG was created in 2011 when British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia merged. Its operational headquarters is based in London.