Icelandic saga

The possibility of Iceland‘s FL Group making a bid for easyJet is back on the agenda after the company increased its stake in the low-cost carrier from 14% to just over 16%.

“It is an indication of interest,” admits Stefan Vilner, director of marketing and sales at Scandinavian low-cost carrier Sterling. Vilner has more than a passing interest in developments as FL has also just agreed to buy his airline.

Sterling has built up a strong position in the Scandinavian market, and is slap bang in the middle of integrating recent acquisition Maersk Air. FL is the parent of Icelandair, so Sterling now faces the prospect of sitting alongside the Icelandic mainline carrier.

As a result, plans by the budget outfit to launch long-haul low-cost flights from Copenhagen to Florida are on hold, although Vilner also sees opportunities with the Icelandair connection.

While there is little direct route overlap, becoming a sister company to easyJet would pose more challenging questions for Sterling.

Certainly one to keep an eye on – as Vilner jokes, a month is a long time in Sterling.

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