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Norway approves Norwegian’s takeover of airline Widerøe

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway approves Norwegian’s takeover of airline Widerøe
Norwegian Air has been given the go ahead to complete its takeover of rival Widerøe. Pictured is a Norwegian Air Shuttle plane taking off. Photo: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/ AFP

The Norwegian Competition Authority has given Norwegian permission to complete its takeover of regional airline Widerøe despite initially trying to halt the proposed takeover.

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A months-long scrutiny process concluded after the Norwegian Competition Authority announced Thursday that the takeover could proceed.

The deal was initially announced by both airlines in July. The agreement is set to cost Norwegian 1.1 billion kroner.

The competition watchdog said the takeover could be completed as it would not “significantly hinder effective competition in the Norwegian market”.

“We are very happy with today’s decision from the Norwegian Competition Authority. We will now embark on the work of securing an even better offer for Norwegian air passengers,” Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian, said of the takeover.

The CEO said that the takeover would result in a better travel offer for customers of Widerøe and Norwegian, secure jobs, and ensure a more efficient operation.

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The takeover would connect Norwegian’s national and international routes to Widerøe’s extensive regional network. Widerøe is Scandinavia’s largest regional-only airline and serves more than 40 small and medium-sized airports across Norway.

The decision to approve the takeover comes weeks after the authorities initially rejected it. The authority said that it didn’t have sufficient grounds to stop the acquisition.

When the takeover is complete, Widerøe will continue operating as an independent company and brand and will retain its headquarters in Bodø.

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