Air Canada’s turbulent courtship of Transat A.T. shareholders has seemingly reaped its rewards.
Transat shareholders overwhelmingly approved Air Canada’s acquisition offer but the biggest hurdle is still to come.
It is now in the hands of Canada’s competition watchdog which could yet scupper the deal.
It would give Air Canada about 60% of Canadian transatlantic market and strengthen its grip on domestic and international travel out of Montreal.
“Today, we are very confident that we will get the approval of these different regulatory authorities,” Transat board member Jean-Yves Leblanc said.
The two airlines have sought to ease fears of fare increases once a deal is completed but that’s not a view shared by many others.
“If you are interested in travelling to Rome, London or Paris, the price is going up, because Air Canada and Transat really control this market,” said Michel Nadeau, executive director at the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations.
“The temptation will be to boost the price.”
There are also fears over possible job losses.
Nearly 95% voted in favor of the Air Canada offer, which was raised at the last minute from $13 per share to $18.