Air Europa's intended new owner IAG International Airlines Group has outlined its plans to withdraw the Spanish carrier from Skyteam.

The revelation has come to light following its announcement earlier today to acquire Air Europa (UX, Palma de Mallorca) from Spanish leisure group Globalia for EUR1 billion euro (USD1.1 billion).

Interestingly, the IAG press release on the deal does not mention the carrier's departure from Skyteam, yet the full analyst presentation confirms that it will leave the alliance in a meagre one-line statement - "Air Europa to leave Skyteam". No further information is given on its withdrawal from the alliance or a planned timeline.

IAG's decision to purchase Air Europe comes shortly after LATAM Airlines (LA, Santiago de Chile Int'l) announced its intention to exit Oneworld (of which IAG's units British Airways and Iberia are members) following the acquisition of a 20% stake by Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson). The Spanish carrier has a strong presence on the Latin American market.

It is also not certain that Air Europa will join oneworld, as IAG units Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin Int'l) and Vueling Airlines (VY, Barcelona El Prat) are currently not members of the alliance.

Shortly after the takeover was announced, Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) already staked its claim with the European competition authorities demanding break-up of Air Europa.

"I think it is a good deal for IAG, for [CEO] Willie Walsh. I think it is a bad deal from a competition point of view,” said Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary on a conference call with analysts.

"It is a merger to monopoly in Madrid Barajas and I think we would certainly be looking for the competition authorities to require some competition divestments, particularly in the Air Europa short-haul," he said.

The low-cost carrier is Madrid Barajas third-largest airline in terms of weekly seats available (week commencing November 4), behind only Iberia (IB, Madrid Barajas) as the first one and Air Europa itself in second position.

Editorial Comment: Clarified that LATAM has only announced its intention to leave oneworld, not to join Skyteam. - 05.11.2019 - 06:00 UTC