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IAG, Iberia boards to review AirEuropa buy this week, report says

MADRID, Dec 15 (Reuters) - International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) and its Spanish unit Iberia will hold board meetings this week to decide whether to go ahead with the acquisition of Spanish carrier Air Europa, Spanish news website ElConfidencial said on Tuesday.

IAG, which also owns British Airways, agreed to buy Air Europa for 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in November 2019, but has been seeking to reduce the price amid the travel crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both IAG and Iberia declined to comment, while officials at Globalia, the owner of Air Europa, were not immediately available for comment. The deal was designed to enhance IAG’s operations on routes to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Last month, the Spanish government announced a 475 million euro aid package for Air Europa.

El Confidencial, which cited only unnamed sources, also said that IAG’s board meeting on Wednesday or Thursday would assess the potential impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union on its business.

Last week, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told a news conference that Iberia should not have any problems operating in the European Union’s airspace after Brexit.

IAG shares were down 1.5% in early trade in London, almost erasing their modest gains since the start of the month. ($1 = 0.8226 euros) (Reporting by Jesús Aguado in Madrid and Sarah Young in London; editing by Andrei Khalip and Keith Weir)

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