FlyMe buys British airline

Swedish airline FlyMe has taken control of British charter airline Astraeus, in a deal that will see the number of planes in FlyMe's fleet grow from five to fifteen aircraft.

The deal, in which Gothenburg-based FlyMe buys 51 percent of the shares in the British company, worth £6 million (approximately 82.7 million kronor).

Astraeus, which has its main base at London’s Gatwick Airport and carries 800,000 passengers a year, has an annual turnover of around 1.2 billion kronor, the Swedish company said. The deal includes Astraeus’ ten jets, all Boeing 737 and 757.

As well as operating charter flights Astraeus, which has 391 employees, has scheduled lines from Gatwick to destinations in west Africa and the former Soviet Union.

“There are major synergies between FlyMe and Astraeus,” said Finn Thaulow, CEO of FlyMe Europe.

“This acquisition enables a more optimal use of the combined fleet, thanks to matching seasonal variations,” he added.

FlyMe, which started out operating domestic flights in Sweden, has recently started a number of new routes to European destinations.