Brussels, 26th January 2009
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said “At a time of consolidation in the European airline sector, the Commission must make sure that consumers will continue to have a competitive choice of airline services both as regards fares and routes”..
Lufthansa is a full-service air carrier with hubs at Frankfurt and Munich airports, and a base at Düsseldorf. Lufthansa also controls Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. (Swiss), based at Zurich airport, Air Dolomiti, Eurowings and low-cost carrier Germanwings.
SNAH is the holding company of SN Brussels Airlines, the Belgian commercial airline active in the transport of both passengers and cargo mainly in Europe and some destinations to Africa.
The Commission’s initial investigation found that the proposed transaction would lead to the creation of a monopoly with respect to three routes from Brussels to Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich and substantially reduce competition on the route from Brussels to Berlin. The investigation also identified competition concerns on two routes between Belgium and Switzerland, namely Brussels-Zurich and Brussels-Geneva.
In order to remove the identified competition concerns, Lufthansa proposed remedies on 5 January 2009. However, the Commission found that these remedies were not sufficiently clear-cut to remove the serious doubts identified in its first phase investigation.
More information on the case is available at