IAG takes a very hard look at Vueling – considering takeover

For International Airlines Group, it’s been a rather good year getting control of British Midland Airways in the United Kingdom. However, in Spain things have been a bit more fraught.

The setting up of Iberia Express has caused a lot of friction between the management and the pilots and cabin crew.

Well it looks like the management are looking for a way out – and its name appears to be Vueling.

Vueling is a Low Cost Carrier based in Spain (with multiple bases around Europe), operating 56 Airbus A320’s and 3 Airbus A319’s, and seems to do the low cost carrier thing like most low cost carriers do. It’s history is an interesting one as it was an independent airline to start off with, before merging with ClickAir (which was a low cost carrier started up by Iberia). To save money, both airlines merged, with Iberia retaining a 48.85% holding in the company.

In a statement, IAG says the following:

“No decision to make an offer has yet been reached nor, accordingly, on any of its potential terms, including in particular the price. Further announcements will be made in due course when a decision is made,”

“IAG’s subsidiary Iberia L.A.E. Operadora, S.A. has a 45.85% shareholding in Vueling.”

If it does, this could be an interesting play. Whilst there is no room for another LCC in the United Kingdom (as far as IAG are concerned – they closed down bmibaby), Spain offers a real interest as it has both shorthaul domestic, Europe and possibly Africa if agreements are reached.

However, for a 100% takeover, this would probably have to head to the regulators – which is where this deal could stumble…


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