EC clears Iberia take over of Clickair and Vueling

The European Commission has granted conditional clearance for Iberia’s takeover of Spanish low-cost carriers Clickair and Vueling.

The merger will allow Iberia, Spain’s largest airline, to also have a core shareholding in the country’s second largest airline, and create a solid foundation to thwart the rise of easyJet and Ryanair’s aggressive expansion in Spain.The EU’s conditions will include the obligation for Iberia and Vueling-Clickair to surrender slots both in Spain and at airports in other European countries.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “The Commission’s clearance is conditional upon the parties releasing slots in Barcelona and other European airports to address competition concerns on several Spanish and other European routes. The commitments given by Iberia will permit other airlines to enter new routes or expand their services in competition with the merged company.”

On Sunday, the Spanish government announcement said it will open an investigation into Iberia’s treatment of passengers suffering delays and cancellations at Madrid’s airport over the weekend.