Daily Management Review

CEOs Of European Airlines Say Industry Consolidation Is Essential


CEOs Of European Airlines Say Industry Consolidation Is Essential
As the EU considers a new agreement between Germany's Lufthansa and Italian rival ITA Airways, the CEOs of Ryanair and British Airways owner IAG stated on Wednesday that further airline consolidation in Europe is required to maintain the industry's competitiveness.
IAG CEO Luis Gallego declared at an aviation conference that "we will destroy airlines in Europe if we don't allow consolidation in Europe."
Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, stated that consolidation "does need to be encouraged" during the same panel discussion.
"(Portugal's) TAP has only survived through COVID because the taxpayer," he said. "Aer Lingus was acquired by IAG... those airlines have been much the better and have a more secure future as part of bigger airlines."
This week, the European Commission is expected to provide its assessment of Lufthansa's proposal to pay 325 million euros ($352.30 million) for a 41% minority share in the state-owned company ITA.
The CEO of Lufthansa expressed optimism ahead of the anticipated EU statement of objections and stated that he hoped to finalise the deal "as soon as possible".
With cautions that it would lessen competition on flights to and from Italy, EU antitrust investigators launched an inquiry into the proposed deal in January. Opening up slots, traffic rights, and planes to let a competitor operate on certain routes are examples of potential solutions.