CityFlyer acquisition cleared, subject to cap on slots

British Airways‘ acquisition of CityFlyer has been given the go-ahead by the UK’s Trade and Industry Secretary. British Airways’ UKP75 million (US$118 million) deal to acquire CityFlyer, announced in November 1998, had been challenged by competing airlines, who claimed it would lead to British Airways dominating London Gatwick airport, where CityFlyer is based. The UK’s Competition Commission (CC) found that giving British Airways control of CityFlyer would be likely to harm competition, so approval of the transaction is contingent on British Airways agreeing to a cap on its hourly Gatwick slots with the Director General of Fair Trading (DGFT). CityFlyer operates Avro RJ100s and ATRs on British Airways franchise flights from Gatwick. It recently took delivery of its sixth Avro RJ100, and is expecting two more in the near future. CityFlyer is the second largest airline operation at Gatwick, and has the second largest holding of take off and landing slots, after British Airways. CityFlyer will continue to operate independently of parent British Airways.

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