International Airlines Group (IAG) may soon face delays in the takeover of BMI via the European Commission.
The parent firm of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia stands to acquire 9 per cent of Heathrow’s landing slots in the £172 million takeover, which would bring its total to nearly 52 per cent; the deal has subsequently prompted regulatory pleas from competitors across the board.
Now, the European Commission has said that IAG has given some ground amid its requests for the airline to give up some of its landing slots in the effort of avoiding regulatory and economic backlash amid the deal with the budget carrier’s current owner, Germany’s Lufthansa.
The Commission did not provide specific details regarding current negotiations with IAG but reports said the company has tabled a substantial offer. However, IAG lawyers have been informed that the deal is not likely to address all of the issued outlined by European officials, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Meanwhile, an IAG spokeswoman said yesterday that talks with Brussels were ongoing and that the company was confident that it would be given the regulatory green light for the deal.
The news comes about three months after Lufthansa had revealed it reached a deal with IAG for the takeover of struggling BMI, Heathrow’s second-largest carrier, late last year.