Monday 21 August 2017

Ryanair pressures Aer Lingus to hold EGM

AVIATION

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair has formally requested that Aer Lingus calls an extraordinary general meeting as Michael O'Leary pushes for the release of an internal report into a controversial 2008 leave-and-return scheme at the airline that cost it nearly €30m more than anticipated.

Ryanair yesterday submitted a requisition notice to Aer Lingus and said it wanted the EGM held within three weeks.

Mr O'Leary has previously labelled a "cover-up" the refusal by the Aer Lingus board to release a report prepared for it in recent months by law firm McCann Fitzgerald and consultancy firm Deloitte into the leave-and-return scheme.

Aer Lingus was forced to come to a €29.5m settlement earlier this year after the scheme fell foul of the taxman.

Ryanair has also been pressuring the Aer Lingus board to formally pledge that it won't put any additional funds into a defined benefit pension fund that serves about 15,000 former and current staff at Aer Lingus, the Dublin Airport Authority and SR Technics.

The pension fund is currently running a €500m-plus deficit that needs to be shored up.

Mr O'Leary claimed yesterday that Ryanair had been "compelled" to requisition the EGM to see if there was majority support among Aer Lingus shareholders to secure the publication of the leave-and-return report.

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