Approval has been granted by the Canadian government for national flag carrier Air Canada to acquire Air Transat’s parent company.

A cut-price deal was agreed in October last year, after an initial agreement for sale was approved by Transat shareholders in August 2019.

The Canadian government’s authorisation is subject to competition regulation, and includes a guarantee to maintain the Transat brand, along with its head office in Québec and jobs, as well as a commitment to launch new Air Transat routes.

The deal also relies on approval from the European Commission. A decision is expected in the first half of 2021.

“We are currently working on adjusting all of the deadlines, including our financing agreements, in order to align them with the anticipated completion of the Commission’s review process”, said Jean-Yves Leblanc, chair of the special committee of the board of directors of Transat.

Transat offers packages and hotel stays as well as air travel under the Air Transat brand. It flies from Canada to 60 destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe, including the UK. It employs 5,000 people.