The Spanish government wants to speed up the rescue of airline Air Europa, day bath ABC reports Saturday. Madrid considers Air Europa "strategically important" to the country's competitiveness and is aiming to sell the ailing company to national carrier Iberia.

Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos, according to sources, acts as a mediator in the negotiations between Air Europa and Iberia.

The possible takeover initially involved an amount of 1 billion euros. Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Iberia wants to renegotiate the price. Iberia CEO Luis Gallego said last week that "is no longer worth what it was worth", thus sharpening the negotiations.

Air Europa is the third largest airline in Spain after Iberia and Vueling. The company offers many flights to Central and South America.