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CIVIL AVIATION: SAS GETS GROUND CLEARANCE TO TAKE MAJORITY STAKE IN SPANAIR.

The European Commission has approved plans by Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS) to acquire sole control of Spain's second largest airline Spanair Holding S.L. Announcing its approval under the EU Merger Regulation on March 5, the Commission said that SAS's control of Spanair would not create a dominant position because the only route operated through direct flights by both SAS and Spanair was Madrid-Copenhagen where there were other real competitors flying the route. SAS announced in November that it was raising its stake in Spanair from 49% to 74%, thereby taking control of the Spanish airline. The acquisition was notified to the Commission for regulatory approval on February 4. Previously, a fellow Spanish company Teinver S.A. owned 51% of Spanair.Spanair is Spain's second largest airline, transporting around five million passengers annually with a fleet of some 50 aircraft. It operates scheduled passenger services to a range of destinations mainly within Spain and the Canary Islands but also between Spain and other European destinations and Central America. It also provides charter flights mainly between Finland and Spain. SAS is the eighth largest passenger airline in Europe. It is the leading Scandinavian international airline, with bases at Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo airports. It is a consortium of three national airlines SAS Danmark A/S, SAS Norge ASA and SAS Sverige AB. SAS offers scheduled flights carrying passengers and cargo, serving a wide range of European and intercontinental destinations with a fleet of over 187 aircraft. It is a member of the Star Alliance, which in Europe includes Lufthansa of Germany, bmi British Midland and Austrian Airlines...JJ:(EM)

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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4EUSW
Date:Mar 9, 2002
Words:268
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