Friday 19 January 2018

Aer Lingus bidder IAG ups profit forecast by 20pc

Willie Walsh says IAG will walk away if suitable terms not reached

Willie Walsh - whose appearance before the Oireachtas Committee was 'long overdue'
Willie Walsh - whose appearance before the Oireachtas Committee was 'long overdue'
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

International Airlines Group (IAG), the company bidding for Aer Lingus, has upgraded its profit forecast for 2015 by over 20pc.

The British Airways and Iberia owner, which has submitted a €1.4bn bid for the airline, also reported a better-than-expected 81pc increase in profits last year.

It reported an operating profit of €1.39bn for 2014 with that figure expected to hit €2.2bn in 2015.

The figures were boosted by lower fuel costs while it grows capacity.

The upgrade is the latest in a series from IAG, which raised this year's forecast last October, buoyed by its exposure to strong demand for North Atlantic travel and the return of its Spanish arm Iberia to profitability.

IAG boss Willie Walsh will meet unions at Aer Lingus next week as he continues his charm offensive and bid to take over the airline.

And he told Bloomberg in an interview today that IAG will walk away if suitable terms aren't reached in terms of a link-up with the airline.

The Government owns 25.1pc of Aer Lingus and the bid is expected to feature at the Labour Party conference this weekend.

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