Spainish Minister of Industry Josep Pique has delayed the flotation of flag-carrier Iberia until at least January next year, citing the current state of the markets as the reason.

Flotation of the airline was due on 22 November after the resolution of a dispute between majority shareholder Caja Madrid and new shareholder British Airways (BA) over the latter's terms of entry.

However a spokesman for Spanish state holding company SEPI says that the minister of industry has announced that the government's intention is now to commence the offer "in the first month of next year" at the earliest.

He explains that "technically" everything is in place for the proposed flotation but that the minister has delayed its implementation because of the current "state of the market".


"We could do the operation now, but the studies of the market recommend that it is delayed," says the spokesman.

He adds that the plan is now to try to float early next year, but again this decision will depend on the state of the markets at that time. With a general election in the country scheduled for next March it seems increasingly unlikely, as has been speculated in the Spanish media, that the flotation of the flag carrier will take place in the current government's term of office.

Source: Flight Daily News