French-language media in Canada report that legacy carrier Air Canada is looking to exit its planned takeover of Transat AT, the parent company of Air Transat, as Canada’s biggest airline attempts to manage through the coronavirus crisis while preserving its liquidity.
The story by Journal de Montreal cites three sources that say Air Canada is lobbying the Canadian government to block the deal. But Montreal-headquartered Air Canada on 2 June denied that recent meetings with the government had anything to do with the Transat tie-up.
When asked specifically about the merger, and the coronavirus’ effects on the company’s strategy regarding Transat, he adds, “There is no change to what we have said previously, which is we are awaiting the outcome of the regulatory review process.”
The transaction as planned would merge the number one and number three airlines in the Canadian market. Earlier this year, WestJet, the country’s second-largest carrier, said it was “watching with great interest” to see if the deal would be approved.
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