(Reuters) - Private equity firm Onex Corp said on Monday its C$3.5 billion (£2.08 billion) buyout offer for WestJet Airlines Ltd received approval from Canada's Minister of Transport, clearing the first of several regulatory hurdles.
The deal still needs several other regulatory approvals, WestJet shareholder nod and final approval by the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta.
Onex, controlled by billionaire Gerry Schwartz, agreed to buy WestJet in May for C$31 ($23.52) per share.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau had earlier said that at first glance the proposed takeover looked fairly standard in terms of an acquisition.
(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru)