Aviation service provider John Menzies (Menzies Aviation) has been given provisional clearance by the UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for its acquisition of Airline Services (ASL).
Menzies said in a statement: “John Menzies plc, the global aviation services business, is pleased to note the publication of the Phase 2 Provisional Findings (PFs) by the CMA in its review of Menzies Aviation’s acquisition of Airline Services.
“Menzies will continue to work with the CMA through the remaining steps of the process and look forward to taking full stewardship of the business in the near future.”
The CMA said in August it would launch an in-depth (phase 2) probe into the merger as it had concerns over competition, unless Menzies offered “acceptable ways of addressing competition concerns” by 14 August.
The CMA said it had identified competition concerns regarding de-icing services at Edinburgh, Glasgow and London Heathrow airports, and ground handling services at London Gatwick and Manchester airports.
It added: “The merger of Menzies and Airline Services, which are close competitors at these airports, could lead to less choice for the airlines operating there, potentially leading to higher prices and lower quality service.”
The companies both supply UK airlines and airports with support services, including the de-icing of aircraft engines and wings; ground handling (including baggage, ramp, passenger and airside cargo handling); and the cleaning and maintenance of aircraft interiors.