Volotea (V7, Asturias) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IAG International Airlines Group to take over select slots and routes to and from Spain from Iberia (IB, Madrid Barajas) and/or Air Europa (UX, Palma de Mallorca) once the holding acquires the latter carrier.

The tentative agreement would allow Volotea to open between two and four new bases in Spain. The locations of these potential bases were not disclosed, although Volotea said that the deal would allow it to expand its footprint at Madrid Barajas. The parties also did not name any routes or airports slots due to be transferred.

"An increase in routes and slots will also improve the connectivity between Autonomous Communities of Spain, especially the Canary and Balearic Islands, and also Galicia, Basque Country, and Asturias," Volotea stated.

IAG is planning to acquire a 100% stake in Air Europa through Iberia. The agreement with Volotea is a "fix-it-first remedy" which is intended to pre-empt any potential competitive concerns raised by the European Commission.

"Following the acquisition of Air Europa by Iberia, Volotea would start to operate the routes in which the EC might consider necessary the introduction of a new competitor. The EC must first approve the suitability of this solution... Volotea is the ideal company as a 'fix-it-first remedy' since it is a Spanish airline independent from IAG, has a recognized leadership, demonstrated operative capabilities, and a highly competitive profile, in complex markets," the parties said in a press release.

Volotea said that the deal would allow it to "place itself amongst the main five airlines operating in Spain". According to the ch-aviation capacities module, it is currently the 31st airline in terms of weekly seat capacity out of Spain with a 0.45% market share (although its market share almost doubles in the peak summer season). In comparison, Iberia is the largest airline in the country with an 18.31% market share and Air Europa the fourth-largest with an 8.05% share.

Volotea currently has two bases in Spain - at Asturias and Bilbao airports.