British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus is joined by Air Europa

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International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) the owner of British Airways is buying Air Europa from Globalia, Spain’s largest tourism group for $1.1 Billion as it plans to turn Madrid into a global aviation hub. Such a move will rival Amsterdam, London, Paris and Frankfurt airports. The deal is a jab to the Skyteam alliance, as Air Europa’s network will move to the rival Oneworld alliance.

According to the European Commission Madrid is a favorite region in Europe to conduct business with Latin America and positioning Madrid as a gateway between Asia and Latin America. Madrid’s Barajas airport handled nearly 58 million passengers in 2018, according to its operator.

This deal with Air Europa will increase IAG’s share of passengers flying between Europe and Latin America from 19% to 26%, Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska said in a research note.

The deal is expected to be completed by the second half of 2020, said IAG.