JetBlue and Spirit to appeal court ruling against merger
JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines have confirmed they will appeal the court decision blocking their proposed merger following opposition from the US Department of Justice (DoJ). The airlines had previously said they would review their options following the ruling by District Court Judge William Young.
Young’s ruling last week sided with the DoJ, saying that JetBlue had failed to prove the move was not anti-competitive and that the agreement went against the core principle of antitrust laws.
Lufthansa's ITA acquisition under EU microscope
The European Commission has started an investigation into Lufthansa’s part-acquisition of ITA Airways, under EU merger regulations. The EU’s executive arm explained it had “preliminary concerns that the transaction may reduce competition in the market for passenger air transport”. The probe will look into the existing and future competition between airlines on domestic Italian routes, and pan-European flights originating in or destined for Italy.
Menzies expands in China with Jardine Aviation stake
Airport service provider and ground handling firm Menzies Aviation has taken a step to expand in Asia with its 50% acquisition of Jardine Aviation Services Group (JASG). The deal was described as a joint venture with China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC). JASG will be rebranded as Menzies CNAC Aviation Services upon completion of the deal.
Korean Air’s Asiana merger gains Japan approval
Korean Air has celebrated the approval of another competition authority for its proposed merger with Asiana Airlines, with the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) becoming the 12th to approve the deal. Japan’s decision, conditional on the ceding of certain flight slots, means that the major merger is now only seeking the approval of the EU and US, with the former set to decide in the coming weeks.