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Connect Airways wins Flybe merger approval from European Commission

Connect Airways wins Flybe merger approval from European Commission

Connect Airways has received merger clearance from the European Commission for its acquisition of Flybe.

The go ahead will also see Connect acquire subsidiary Propius Holdings, and gives approval for its investment in Stobart Air Unlimited Company.

It is hoped the move will secure Flybe’s long-term future.

With Connect Airways taking over full management control of the business, chief executive Mark Anderson and the leadership teams from Flybe and Stobart Air will now focus on plans to grow their regional network.

They will also seek to expand Stobart Air’s successful franchise business.


Anderson said: “On behalf of Connect Airways, I couldn’t be more excited by the opportunity we have to build a strong platform in the UK and to grow our franchise flying operation in Ireland.

“Our whole team is focused on redefining the experience for our customers, as we rediscover the excitement and passion of being Europe’s largest regional airline.”

Connect Airways is an investment vehicle composed of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital.

The trio acquired Flybe earlier this year after it came close to bankruptcy.

Flybe will be rebranded under the Virgin name “in due course”.

Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, added: “Mark and his team at Connect Airways have an amazing opportunity ahead of them.

“At Virgin Atlantic we recognise the value of great partnerships, and the network and connectivity benefits they offer customers.

“I’m excited to build on the successful partnership Virgin Atlantic has enjoyed with Flybe – and how we can enhance the experience for our mutual customers, once Connect Airways joins the Virgin family and operates under its new brand.”