The German Federal Cartel Office has approved the purchase of shares in Romania’s LCC Blue Air by Berlin-based logistics group Zeitfracht in an expansion bid.

At the beginning of January, the Federal Cartel Office was notified of the transaction; the parties have agreed not to disclose the exact number of shares that will be acquired.

Zeitfracht Group managing director Wolfram Simon-Schröter said, “With our entry into Blue Air, we have taken a major step forward in expanding our activities in the aviation sector—we are on course for growth.”

Privately owned Bucharest-headquartered Blue Air was founded in 2004 and has grown in recent years. The airline operates a fleet of 26 Boeing 737 Classics and 737-700/800s; the fleet is expected to grow by a further 12 aircraft this year. The carrier transported 6 million passengers in 2017.

Former CEO Gheorghe Racaru told ATW in April 2018: “We have six MAX 8s on order, plus two options. With lessor ALC [Air Lease Corp.], we have an additional seven MAX 8s in the pipeline. So, we are talking about a minimum fleet of 13 [189-seat] Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft,” Racaru had said.

Blue Air flies to more than 100 destinations in Europe.

Family owned Berlin-based Zeitfracht Group acquired Cologne-based airline WDL Aviation in 2017. The company made news when it was considering an investment in either bankrupt airberlin or its Austrian-subsidiary LCC NIKI. Zeitfracht ultimately was part of a consortium that took over the maintenance unit, airberlin Technik.

WDL operates three wet-leased BAe 146 passenger and three cargo aircraft. Four more Embraer E190s will be added to the fleet from spring onward.

Blue Air did not respond to a request by ATW for additional information.

Kurt Hofmann