Norwegian Air’s bid to take over Norway’s short-haul domestic airline Widerøe is in a holding pattern, while regulators continue to evaluate the deal. Competition authorities have said they need more time to decide whether the takeover would result in poorer service for passengers.
Norwegian Air, recently out of bankruptcy itself and flying high again, offered NOK 1.1 billion to take over the regional airline that mostly uses propeller aircraft capable of landing on short runways in rural and mountainous areas of the country. Widerøe serves lots of small airports, not least in Northern Norway.
The competition authority Konkurransetilsynet is worried the consolidation would weaken competition. “Aviation is a large and important market for Norwegian consumers,” it wrote when anouncing an extension of its review period. It’s charged with ensuring that Norwegian airline passengers have “the best possible offer at the lowest possible price.” A decision is now due in mid-November.