The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared an agreement for Aer Lingus to take over scheduled flights between London City and Dublin that were previously operated by Cityjet.

Under the agreement, which was announced in August, Cityjet will ‘wet lease’ the aircraft, crew, maintenance services and insurance to operate the route.

The CMA says it investigated the arrangement because Aer Lingus will also acquire Cityjet’s landing slots at both London City and Dublin. Its inquiry was launched due to the fact that Cityjet had already decided to cease operating the flights before it made the agreement with Aer Lingus, so the CMA felt it necessary to find out if any other airlines would have bought the landing slots if they had been offered for sale.

However, the CMA has now said no other carriers expressed interest in the slots, so it made the decision to approve the deal in order to protect capacity on the London-Dublin route.

The Aer Lingus agreement means Cityjet no longer operates under its own brand in Europe, with the company instead ‘refocusing’ its efforts on becoming a ‘wet lease specialist’.

Passengers booked onto Cityjet’s flights have been notified that Aer Lingus has taken over the route.

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