VALENCIA’S Air Nostrum has been given the green light to merger with Ireland’s CityJet to form Europe’s largest regional airline.
It’s the second time that European Commission permission has been granted after a 2019 go-ahead was suspended due to the Covid pandemic.
A new holding company will be formed with both brands being maintained across a fleet of 70 aircraft- 48 of which belong to Air Nostrum.
The economic model is similar to that of the IAG group established after the merger of British Airways and Iberia.
Air Nostrum also operates as an Iberia franchisee for regional flights.
Around 2,000 people will be employed by the new combined firm including maintenance and support services.
An Air Nostrum spokesman said: “The agreement will mean a leap in efficiency, which will allow us to offer the best services to the European market.”
It’s quite a turnround for the Valencian carrier which lost over €140 million in the first year of the pandemic.
The situation got so bad that it needed a government bail-out loan which helped slash losses to €7.3 million in 2021.
Air Nostrum returned to profitability last year with passenger levels close to 2019 figures.
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