Sunday 25 September 2016

Aer Lingus takeover offer closes as airline joins IAG

Published 03/09/2015 | 02:30

Willie Walsh plans to detail his strategy for Aer Lingus in November.
Willie Walsh plans to detail his strategy for Aer Lingus in November.

IAG's €1.36bn offer for Aer Lingus closed yesterday, with the former State-owned carrier now a part of the British Airways owner. IAG, headed by chief executive Willie Walsh, said that it has received acceptances in respect of 98.05pc of Aer Lingus shares for its takeover offer.

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Aer Lingus shares are expected to be delisted from the Dublin and London stock exchanges on September 17 - almost nine years to the day since the airline's flotation.

Last month, Mr Walsh welcomed Aer Lingus to IAG, saying the airline would benefit from new routes that would in turn benefit customers as well as the Irish economy and tourism.

Mr Walsh plans to detail his strategy for Aer Lingus in November. He wants to use the carrier to expand IAG's transatlantic business via Dublin. A recent research report by Goodbody Stockbrokers noted that the IAG move is likely to boost total traffic at Aer Lingus from 9.8 million passengers last year to 15 million by 2020.

Goodbody analysts predict that Aer Lingus will need an additional seven A320 short-haul aircraft between 2017 and 2020 to cope with growth on that network. However, Aer Lingus long-haul services are expected to account for 59pc of total revenues at the airline by 2020, compared to 38pc last year.

IAG is likely to reintroduce the Dublin-LA route next year, while it's also likely that destinations including Miami and Philadelphia will be considered.

IAG's takeover battle for Aer Lingus began last December. After protracted talks, the Government eventually accepted the deal after a number of concessions were agreed.

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