By Euro Weekly News Media • 29 May 2015 • 7:40
RYANAIR is the last hurdle before International Airlines Group (IAG) can complete the deal on its €1.4 billion offer on Irish carrier Aer Lingus. IAG is the flag-carrier airline of the UK and Spain, owning British Airways and Iberia.The agreement includes guarantees for a daily service linking Heathrow, Dublin, Cork and Shannon for the next seven years and also a commitment to create 630 new jobs by 2020.IAG boss Willie Walsh, a former Aer Lingus pilot, has made an offer for Aer Lingus three times. He has the go ahead from Brussels and also the Irish Government on its 25.1 per cent share so the deal is now waiting for the nod from 30 per cent stake holder Ryanair and its CEO Michael O’Leary – and in typical O’Leary style he’s kept everyone guessing although he has indicated that Ryanair would consider an offer. Walsh has stated that there will be no higher offer made for Ryanair’s share.Aer Lingus’ prospects as part of the IAG group are reasonably secure. Walsh wants the airline because it will increase the group’s share of lucrative transatlantic routes, promoting Dublin as a perfect gateway.Irish Transport Minister Paschal Donohue confirmed that Ireland “…would retain a single ‘B-share’ with authority to veto any attempt to dispose of Aer Lingus’ 23 Heathrow runway slots.” He added that the offer “represents the best deal for the Irish carrier’s future.”
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