Worried about a near-monopoly on domestic air traffic in Greece, European Union antitrust regulators plan a lengthy investigation into a second attempt by Greek carrier Aegean Airlines to buy Olympic Air despite concessions offered to allay concerns.
Aegean, which has risen to become the country’s dominant in-country air carrier, submitted proposed concessions to the European Commission last month but did not provide details. The pending investigation means the EU’s decision on the deal would be pushed back from April 23 to the end of the year.
Aegean officials said the investigation is routine and no cause for concern. They said it is unrelated to problems with the troubled Cyprus Airways, a key rival for the Greek carriers. “The need to create a competitive, viable Greek carrier of a considerable size to offer support to tourism in the country has become ever more imperative,” stated Aegean Vice President Eftichios Vassilakis.
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