Neels Blom Writer at large

Regional airlines SA Airlink and Safair have abandoned their merger bid after a protracted effort to combine their operations. The airlines announced their intention to merge in November 2017, saying that they believed a merger would be beneficial for the two businesses, their customers, employees, suppliers, the local and regional air transport markets and the broader SA economy. The Competition Commission disagreed and prohibited the proposed merger on the grounds that it would result in a substantial prevention of competition. It said the merger could result in price increases because it was likely to remove a competitor to Airlink, and Safair offered competitive prices. SA Airlink marketing and sales manager Karin Murray said on Wednesday that the decision to abandon the merger had nothing to do with the Competition Commission’s objections. “The transaction was terminated for commercial reasons between the parties,” she said. FlySafair’s sales and distribution manager, Kirby Gor...

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