Carnival Corporation has bought a 29.6 percent interest in Airtours for $310 million.
David Crossland, Airtours’ Chairman, will join Carnival’s board of directors, and Micky Arison, Carnival’s Chairman, and Howard Frank, Vice Chairman, will sit on Airtours’ board.
Airtours is the second largest tour operator in the UK and the largest in Scandinavia, with retail outlets in the respective countries, and also operates a charter airline, hotels, and two cruise ships. ln addition, Airtours also owns Sunquest Vacations, a Canadian tour operator.
Airtours gives Carnival access to segments of the European travel market and is also expected to become a recipient of Carnival’s older ships as they are replaced with more efficient tonnage in the North American market.
Carnival, meanwhile, provides Airtours with cruise expertise and a major travel partner in North America, while the capital may be used for further expansion into other European national markets.