European Commission conditionally approves acquisition of Flybe by Connect Airways

On 5 July 2019 the European Commission approved the acquisition of Flybe by Connect Airways, a consortium by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Aviation and Cyrus Capital, subject to conditions.

The focus of the Commission’s investigation was on domestic passenger routes flown by Flybe and Air France-KLM within the United Kingdom as well as short-haul routes between UK airports and other destinations in Europe, given that Air France-KLM would acquire indirect control over Flybe via its joint control of Virgin Atlantic. In order to address the competition concerns raised by the Commission, Connect Airways agreed to release five daily slot pairs at Amsterdam Schiphol airport and three daily slot pairs at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to allow competing airlines to operate flights on the Birmingham-Amsterdam and Birmingham-Paris routes.

A CRA team including Cristina Caffarra, Dan Donath, Michael Muehlbradt, Kirsten Abeln, Aonghus Ó Cochláin and Balázs Csullag advised the Parties during the EC merger proceedings.

For more details, please see the Commission’s press release here.