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Virgin boss's fears over IAG's Aer Lingus deal


Paschal Donohoe

Paschal Donohoe

Paschal Donohoe

The head of Virgin Atlantic has said the airline will look for government help to safeguard competition if its biggest rival IAG succeeeds in buying Aer Lingus.

Chief executive Craig Kreeger made the comments yesterday at the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) annual general meeting in Miami, Florida.

"We expect that the transaction will ultimately reach conclusion, but we'd certainly love to see a hard look at what kind of remedies might be appropriate to allow competitive connectivity to Ireland to continue to exist," Mr Kreeger said.

The IATA agm is a major event in for the global aviation sector, and will be held in Dublin next year, it was revealed last night.

Next year's IATA agm will be hosted at the RDS, Dublin, from 1st to 3rd June 2016. IATA is the trade association for the world's airlines and the convention will attract more than 1,200 delegates and is estimated to be worth €1.6m to the local economy.

News Dublin will act as next year's host was announced in Florida by Fáilte Ireland's Dublin Convention Bureau and IATA member Aer Lingus.

"Ireland is truly punching above its weight when it comes to winning large international conferences to these shores. I am particularly pleased, as a transport and tourism Minister, to welcome the International Air Transport Association's members to Dublin next year. It gives a great boost to our global profile to have so many influential members of the air travel community gathering here and I am confident that they will be impressed with the experience," Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said.

Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus Chief Executive officially unveiled Dublin as the chosen destination at the closing ceremony of the IATA conference in Miami, Florida with a custom-made video produced by Fáilte Ireland's Dublin Convention Bureau.

Ireland's aircraft leasing sector means this country is the largest buyer of jet aircraft and jet engines in the world, while aviation Irish executives are now scattered across the globe.

Irish Independent