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Air Canada: A hostile merger?

The Story

It's 1999 and Air Canada and Canadian Airlines are one step closer to a merger. The idea to join forces comes after a streak of bad luck for Air Canada: a mid-1970s recession and rising costs due to a global fuel crisis. By 1979 the federal government had lifted all protection rules for Air Canada, paving the way for new airlines like CP Air. Before the government lifted protection laws, Air Canada took Canadians on 78 per cent of their flights within the country. In this 1999 CBC Television clip, business magnate Gerald Schwartz revels in news of a court ruling in his favour. Ontario justice Robert Blair gives Schwartz the go-ahead to ask for a merger vote between Air Canada's shareholders and Canadian Airlines. But Air Canada's top brass is generally not in favour of what they view as a hostile merger attempt by shareholders of Schwartz's company Onex Corp. 

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Sept. 28, 1999
Guest(s): Nigel Wright
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Susan Bonner
Duration: 2:24

Did You know?

• On Nov. 5, 1999, Onex's bid to buy out Air Canada and merge the airline with Canadian Airlines was shut down. A Quebec Superior Court ruled the buyout illegal — no one entity was allowed to own over 10 per cent of Air Canada.
• In 2000, Air Canada successfully merged with Canadian Airlines without Onex's involvement.



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