Almost exactly 20 years ago, private equity investor Onex had its first go at controlling a Canadian airline: Gerry Schwartz’s firm was trying to merge Air Canada with Canadian Airlines. “I’d take it terribly personally” if the deal failed, he said. And fail it did. But now Onex is close to gaining control of a large Canadian airline, WestJet, after the carrier’s board recommended accepting a takeover offer. Only days later, Air Canada announced plans to take ...

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