Air Canada’s planned C$720 million takeover of Transat has cleared an initial regulatory hurdle.

Quebec’s superior court approved the deal but the proposal still faces a probe by Canada’s competition bureau.

But it also needs to pass scrutiny by regulator Transport Canada, including industry consultation due to start on November 4.

Almost 95% of Transat shareholders approved the Air Canada approach at a special meeting a week ago and there were no objections made to the court.

Tour operating and leisure airline group Transat now expects the takeover to be completed by the second quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals.

The government has 250 days, or until May 2, 2020, to complete the public interest assessment.

Air Canada had previously indicated that it hoped the deal would be concluded by the early part of next year.

Transat offers holiday packages, hotel stays and air travel under the Transat and Air Transat brands to 60 destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe.