Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum has reactivated the process for its merger with Irish carrier CityJet in order to create Europe’s leading regional operator.
The deal had already been announced as far back as 2018 but was put on hold before it could be completed due to the COVID-pandemic.
The European competition regulators had already greenlighted the merger between the two airlines in 2019 but, given the amount of time that has passed, they have now requested that the interested parties submit the required documentation again.
The two airlines have quite a few things in common, such as the fact that both operate regional services for other airlines. In the case of Air Nostrum, for Spanish flag carrier Iberia under the “Iberia Regional” brand, whereas a big share of CityJet’s activity are the regional services it flies in Scandinavia for SAS.
Both airlines also have CRJ fleets. Air Nostrum operates CRJ200 and CRJ1000s (plus some ATR 72-600s) and CityJet has a fleet of 20 CRJ900 aircraft. The combined fleet would count 59 aircraft. Moreover, Air Nostrum has also expressed its interest in operating other types of aircraft in the future and recently signed an agreement to become the launch customer of the Airlander 10 airship as soon as the new type of aircraft becomes commercially available.
When contacted by AeroTime, a spokesperson for Air Nostrum said they had submitted the documentation to the relevant authorities.
“The Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission has received the notification submitted by CityJet and Air Nostrum to authorize the merger of the two companies (…) Negotiations between the two companies are ongoing and merger acceptance by the European Commission would be one more step towards the merger that the two companies with to complete.”