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Air Europa/AF-KLM JV vs an IAG/LATAM JV on Europe-LatAm

Next year Air Europa and Air France-KLM are hoping to launch their new metal-neutral South Atlantic joint venture, announced in Aug-2018 and originally hoped to begin this summer. Negotiations have taken longer than expected, in spite of common SkyTeam membership and existing codeshare cooperation.

Based on OAG data for the week of 12-Aug-2019, Air France, Air Europa and KLM are respectively second, fourth and fifth by seats on Europe to Latin America excluding Caribbean.

The market leader Iberia combines with British Airways to make IAG the leading airline group in this market. However, the Air Europa/Air France-KLM JV would have a higher seat share than IAG and would be neck and neck with the planned IAG/LATAM Airlines JV.

Meanwhile, Air Europa has launched three new routes this summer (Panama City, Medellín and Iguazu). This gives it more destinations than any other operator between Europe and Central/South America, where its capacity is up by 20% year-on-year in Aug-2019.

Iberia's 18% growth is focused on frequency increases, rather than new destinations. The Air Europa/Air France-KLM JV would have a significant lead over the IAG/LATAM Airlines JV in the number of destinations in Latin America excluding Caribbean.

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