The Norwegian Competition Authority has approved Norwegian to buy regional airline Widerøe. The deal, first announced this summer, had been in question, with the Authority raising concerns about the implications to airline competition in Norway. Both Norwegian and Widerøe offered arguments to the contrary.
Norwegian Buys Widerøe, Ensuring Seamless Connections
“We are very happy with the decision from the Norwegian Competition Authority and now embark on the work of securing an even better offer for Norwegian air passengers,” says CEO Geir Karlsen of Norwegian. “We are very satisfied that the Norwegian Competition Authority has reached this decision and that our input has been listened to. The acquisition will give customers a better route offer, with more options, and help secure Norwegian jobs. With this, our customers can travel seamlessly across our route networks in Norway and internationally. We will operate more efficiently and ensure a strong Norwegian aviation industry with local jobs and orderly working conditions.”
Critical Public Transport Remains in Norwegian Hands
“We are very pleased that the Norwegian Competition Authority has chosen to include our input in the assessment and are, of course, incredibly pleased that they approve the acquisition,” says CEO Stein Nilsen in Widerøe. “We greatly respect that this has been a demanding case for the Norwegian Competition Authority. The documentation has been very comprehensive. We are now looking forward to working together with Norwegian to be able to offer better and more competitive journeys for those who depend on air as public transport.”
“The acquisition of Widerøe ensures Norwegian jobs with Norwegian wages and working conditions, that critical public transport remains in Norwegian hands, and that Widerøe continues as its own airline and brand, with headquarters in Bodø. I couldn’t have wished for a better Christmas present,” Nilsen concludes.
Complementary offers in Norway and internationally
Both airlines say Norwegian passengers will benefit by connecting Widerøe’s extensive regional route network and Norwegian’s national and international routes more closely. Widerøe covers more than 40 small and medium-sized airports throughout Norway and some larger airports in Europe. Norwegian flies over 300 routes in the high season to more than 120 destinations in the Nordics and Europe.