Competition Commission rejects Airlink's proposed Safair acquisition

SA Airlink and Safair are disappointed that the Competition Commission rejected their proposed merger.

The Competition Commission has rejected the proposed acquisition of Safair by SA Airlink. The two stand-alone companies approached the Commission in November 2017 for approval to unite under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies.

The Competition Commission said it believes the acquisition would likely result in "a substantial prevention of competition". Moreover, the commission found that there are significant price differences between Safair and SA Airlink and said that if the merger were to be approved, there would be a likelihood of significant price increases.

Airlink and Safair said in a statement:

"We firmly believe the proposed transaction will be beneficial, not only for the two companies, but for their customers, employees, suppliers, the local and regional air transport markets as well as the broader South African economy."

The airlines have expressed their disappointment with the decision, saying they will approach the Competition Tribunal to consider its application.

Pictured: Elmar Conradie, Safair CEO