Aer Lingus Group PLC (LON:AERL) has been given the green light by the competition watchdog to take over CityJet’s London City Airport-Dublin route and landing slots.
Under a ‘wet lease’ agreement, CityJet will provide Aer Lingus with aircraft, crew, maintenance services and insurance to operate flights from London City Airport to Dublin.
Aer Lingus -- owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group PLC (LON:IAG), which also owns British Airways -- will buy CityJet’s landing slots at both the London City and Dublin airports.
The Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation in October to consider the impact of the deal for passengers flying between London and Dublin.
The CMA said it has decided to clear the deal because CityJet stopped providing services on the route from London to Dublin before its agreement with Aer Lingus. While CityJet did market the business to sell to other airlines, the CMA’s investigation showed that “no other airline would have been interested in taking it over”.
“For that reason, without the agreement, the assets transferred by CityJet to Aer Lingus would have instead been used to operate other routes, resulting in a loss of capacity and therefore less choice for customers on the London to Dublin route,” the CMA said.