BRUSSELS | Fearing that the acquisition of transatlantic by Air Canada to impair the competition in the air transport between Europe and Canada, the european Commission (EC) has decided to open a “thorough investigation” on this announced transaction.
“Air Canada and Transat are the two main airlines that operate an extensive route network between Europe and Canada. We will carefully consider whether the proposed transaction is likely to have a negative impact on competition in these markets, which would result in an increase of rates, quality deterioration or a reduction in choice for travellers who cross the Atlantic”, said in a statement Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president in charge of competition policy at the european Commission.
She added that the current period is difficult for the companies heavily affected by the pandemic COVID-19, may that “the conditions to return to normal and healthy on the market by the maintenance of competition”.
Air Canada and Transat are respectively the first and the second largest provider of scheduled services of air transportation of passengers from the european economic Area and Canada, stressed the european Commission, on Monday, adding that the two companies are competing “front-end”.
In a first phase of its investigation, the EC said not to have been able “to determine whether, in the long term, these companies would continue to compete on all routes where they were competing before the crisis.”
The Commission now intends to deepen its examination of the dossier and must take a decision by 30 September.
Recall that last march, the competition Bureau of Canada was also concerned by the acquisition of transatlantic by Air Canada, expressing concerns, among others, an increase in price, as well as negative effects on “competition in the sale of air travel or vacation packages to Canadians.”