MIAMI – Air Canada (AC) has offered some concessions to ease European Commission antitrust concerns regarding the airline’s purchase of Air Transat (TS), portal Competition Policy International reported on November 26.

Per the portal, “the Commission, which oversees competition policy in the 27-nation European Union, stated the commitments had been submitted on November 25,” extending, as a result, the deadline for the decision to January 29, 2021.

The European Commission decided to investigate the purchase due to concerns that the deal could raise prices and hinder competition on flights between Canada and Europe.

Air Canada. Photo: Liam Funnell

Second Delay in the Process

Air Canada reduced its offer price for Air Transat by nearly 75% to about CA$188.7m ($145.13m) because of the COVID-19 pandemic impact on travel demand.

As previously reported by Airways, the decision regarding the antitrust issues was originally scheduled for December, due to revisions in the valuation.

AC first revised TS’s valuation in early November, reducing the offer from $720m to $190m, delaying the decision to January 8, 2021. At the time of the reduction, Air Transat’s stock prices have jumped over 30 percent.

Despite the jump in share prices and the continuation of the deal, the impact of the pandemic will still be felt, as AC has already laid off 20,000 workers earlier this year, and more could come as a result of the merger.

Featured image: Air Canada