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Parliamentary questions
PDF 43kWORD 20k
9 January 2019
E-000094-19
Question for written answer E-000094-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

 Subject:  Post-Brexit and IAG's no-deal Brexit flight plan — IAG's structure and point 37 of the guidelines on ownership rules — Uniform application of the rules

The Financial Times reports(1) that: ‘When IAG merged UK-based BA and Spain’s Iberia in 2011, it divorced the voting rights within the subsidiaries from their financial rights, such as dividends.

A majority of each airline’s voting rights is held within its home country in an attempt to preserve its nationality — and therefore its flying rights — while IAG holds most of the economic rights.

IAG’s plans rely on the EU taking the view that if a local body owns the voting rights, even if the parent company reaps the economic benefits, it will fulfil the bloc’s “ownership and control” criteria.’

This criteria is not just an issue for IAG. If rules are to be applied, they should apply equally to all airlines. How many airlines today fully comply with the rules and how many will continue to do so after the UK leaves the EU is a fair question.

1. Does the Commission regret the fact that EU airlines(2) found to be incompliant with Article 4(f)(3) but were allowed to operate(4)(5)? 2. What would stop Emirates from using the same holding company structure as IAG to buy EU airlines and run them as subsidiaries? 3. Does IAG’s structure respect point 37(6) of the rules on ownership, and more precisely does it guarantee that ‘all shares involved carry the same voting rights’?

(1)https://www.ft.com/content/35ff12b0-1328-11e9-a581-4ff78404524e?emailId=5c3514d247626f00041d05fd&segmentId=ce31c7f5-c2de-09db-abdc-f2fd624da608
(2)https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-etihad-strategy-analysis-idUKKBN1872EM
(3)https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32008R1008&from=EN
(4)http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-5402_en.htm
(5)http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1766_en.htm
(6)https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/c20173711-guidelines-ownership-control-carriers.pdf

Last updated: 23 January 2019Legal notice