Last Thursday, the Government of Spain welcomed a provisional European Union deal that is meant to mitigate the effect of a hard Brexit on its airlines.
Reyes Maroto, the Spanish Industry Minister, stated: “We have obtained seven months to avoid any problem.”
It added: “We have more time for the company to decide which changes it opts for.”
Iberia, the national flag carrier of Spain, is majority-owned by IAG, the Britain-based Anglo-Spanish group.
Maroto was referring to a provisional deal that was reached in Brussels to make sure that, among other things, that firms can continue to provide scheduled flights for seven months following the date of application of post-Brexit air traffic regulations.
Airlines that will no longer be majority owned by the nationals of the European Union once the United Kingdom leaves the bloc will face the threat of losing their right to fly within the European Union after Brexit because of share ownership rules.
If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal on the 29th of March, there would be no transitional period in which the airlines would be able to sort out their shareholdings.
Maroto told reporters: “This is solved, we have been given a moratorium of seven months in the regulation that will be approved, and we are working with the company to find a definitive solution.”
The provisional agreement that is referred to by Maroto requires approval from the ambassadors of the member states in the Permanent Representatives Committee of the EU Council.
Iberia carries approximately 19 million passengers per year and it is considered as a major employer in Spain with nearly 17,000 workers.
IAG, which is also the owner of British Airways, is registered in Spain, however, its headquarters is located in the United Kingdom and has shareholders from across the globe.