Wednesday 25 April 2018

Aer Lingus sale: 'Rejection of IAG offer gombeen politics at its worst' - CityJet boss

Michael Noonan says offer still alive and on the table

Willie Walsh of IAG
Willie Walsh of IAG
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

CITYJET chairman Pat Byrne has dubbed the Government's rejection of the IAG takeover offer for Aer Lingus "gombeen politics at its worst'".

Talks are ongoing over the €1.4bn offer for Aer Lingus as some Labour party members considering opposition for the bid in the form of a motion at the party's conference this weekend.

Although yesterday Fine Gael Transport Minister Paschal Donohue left the door open for a fresh offer with better assurances for jobs and a 10-year guarantee on the 23 Heathrow slots.

Mr Byrne added that the Government's handling of the situation has been "reckless" - he was speaking on Newstalk's Breakfast Show programme.

The Government has a 25pc shareholding in Aer Lingus with the offer being headed up by the latter's former boss Willie Walsh.

Mr Donohue wants the five year guarantee on Heathrow slots increased to 10 years.

“The five year period that is there at the moment is not enough," he said. "The reason it is not enough is in order for there to be certainty for investment in those areas, not to mention the tourism sector in that area, they need a longer horizon on which they can plan," he added.

"The Government has today confirmed that it will continue to pursue a policy based on competition between at least two airlines with significant home bases in the Irish market," he said.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said today in an interview on Bloomberg TV that the IAG offer for Aer Lingus isn't off the table.

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