Under the agreement between Acciona and Air Nostrum, Acciona HSR Services will acquire joint control of Ilsa and Operador Ferroviario de Levante (OFL), which are currently wholly-owned by the Spanish airline.

The CNMC ruled that the deal would not significantly distort the structure of the Spanish high-speed rail market, nor pre-existing competitive dynamics, as Ilsa currently lacks market share. The authority also says Acciona’s entry into the market would increase competition by reinforcing the new entrant’s capital.

In September 2018 the CNMC approved a resolution on Ilsa’s plans to launch new international high-speed services from Montpellier to Barcelona and Madrid, concluding that the main objective of the new services is to enhance international rail links between France and Spain.

The proposed timetable will triple the current Madrid - Montpellier frequency and offer a 50% increase in services from Barcelona to the French city. Proposed journey times are also 10% faster than those currently offered by Renfe, and according to Ilsa’s submission, will offer lower fares than the incumbent operator.

Ilsa has committed to providing the CNMC with semi-annual ridership and revenue data, limiting the sale of tickets for travel within Spain if they exceed the 70% limit set in the competition authority’s September 2017 resolution.