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EU clears Virgin's buy of UK airline Flybe subject to release of slots

Fri 5th July, 2019 2:15pm
BRUSSELS, July 5 (Reuters) - European Union antitrust
regulators cleared on Friday the acquisition of British airline
Flybe  FLYB.L  by Connect Airways, a consortium created by
Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group  STOB.L  and investment adviser
    However, the final approval of the deal, which was announced
in January, is conditional on the release by Connect Airways of
slots for the routes connecting the English city of Birmingham
to Amsterdam and Paris, the EU executive said in a statement.*:nL3N1ZB2DO
    Brussels was concerned that after the merger those routes
could have fallen under a near monopoly in favour of the
Franco-Dutch giant Air France-KLM  AIRF.PA , which has acquired
Virgin Atlantic together with Delta and the Virgin Group of
Richard Branson.
    To allay the EU Commission's concerns, Connect Airways
committed to the release of five daily slot pairs at Amsterdam
Schiphol airport and three daily slot pairs at Paris Charles de
Gaulle airport. 
    "The commitments fully address the competition concerns
identified by the Commission," the EU executive said.

 (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio, editing by
Robin Emmott)
 ((; @fraguarascio; +32 2
287 68 17;))
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