DALLAS – The long-running discussion of a merger between Dublin-based CityJet (WX) and Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum (YW) has been given the green light by the European Commission.
WX is owned by the US Fortress Investment Group, while Air Investment Valencia controls YW. Merger talks between the two parties began back in 2018, with the Air Nostrum CEO Carlos Bartomeu saying that the tie-up is “a market opportunity that should not be missed.” However, plans were put on hold due to the COVID-pandemic.
Approval was unconditionally granted in 2019. But the European regulators recently requested that the two carriers resubmit the necessary documentation.
The Commission noted that the proposed tie-up would create no issues regarding competition as a sufficient number of competitors remain in both operators’ markets.
Europe’s Leading Regional Carrier
Currently, WX operates wet-lease services for Scandinavian Airlines (SK). Meanwhile, YW flies on behalf of Iberia Regional (IB) and limited services for Brussels Airlines (SN).
The new joint venture will create Europe’s leading regional operator. It will operate a combined fleet of 59 aircraft, including the CRJ200, CRJ1000 and ATR 72-600s.
Both carriers will continue operating under their brands under a new holding company. In addition, there is the possibility of adding other airlines to the company in due course.
Featured Image: Air Nostrum Iberia Regional CRJ1000 (EC-MJO). Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways.