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International Airlines Group – the parent company to British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, etc. – has announced a deal to purchase Spain’s other major airline, Air Europa.
Assuming that the acquisition is cleared by the competition authorities – not a sure thing – what might this mean for Avios collectors?
Air Europa is a member of the Skyteam alliance, and its loyalty programme is called Air Europa Suma. Knowing IAG’s strategy to combine all of its airlines on a single Avios platform, it is safe to assume that any existing miles – or any future ones from upcoming Skyteam flights – are likely to be converted into Avios. However this will occur many months, if not years, from now…
It is too early to speculate about whether Suma will be rolled into Iberia Plus or continue to operate separately. But if you prefer to earn Avios but have some unavoidable Skyteam (or Etihad) flights coming up, you might want to investigate Air Europa Suma… (as will InsideFlyer UK over time!)
As far as Air Europa’s route network is concerned, the airline mostly competes with Iberia on South American routes.
Although Air Europa offer a handful of routes to secondary cities in South America, ultimately they fly to many of the same places as Iberia. This has two potential consequences:
- More flights/seats to popular destinations —> more Avios availability
- Anti-competitive behaviour –> more expensive fares and reduced Avios availability
I’ve only flown once or twice on short-haul Air Europa flights, so cannot tell you what their long-haul Business Class product is like. But now that the airline might be joining BA/Iberia in Avios, I’m sure that I will eventually find out…
What do you think of this corporate deal? Good? Bad? Who cares?