BRITISH Airways’ owner is currently in talks with government officials in Madrid to be considered as a Spanish company after Brexit, it has emerged.
Anglo-Spanish airline group IAG, the owner of British Airways, has been in contact with Madrid over the past month to ensure it will retain its operating rights if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal, according to reports by Spanish newspaper El Pais. This comes amid fears a no-deal scenario could jeopardise operating rights for airline carriers that don’t meet EU ownership rules, which require European operators to be majority owned and operated in the bloc. Britain is set to leave the bloc on March 29, but with less than five months to go, Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to secure a withdrawal deal. IAG, which is also the parent company of Spain’s Iberia, is registered in Spain but has diverse global shareholders.
After Brexit, UK shareholders will no longer count towards the required 50 percent minimum EU ownership.
IAG did not comment directly on the report but a spokesman said the airline group remained confident the UK and EU would reach a comprehensive air transport agreement.
The spokesman added: “We remain confident that a comprehensive air transport agreement between the EU and the UK will be reached.
“It’s in the UK and the EU’s interests to have a fully liberalised aviation agreement.