Monday 20 November 2017

Government will not be rushed into decision on Aer Lingus sale - Transport Minister

Pascal Donohoe
Pascal Donohoe
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

The government will not be rushed into making a final decision on the sale of Aer Lingus, and will take "the right amount of time to make the right decision," Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has said.

However, he accepted there is cohort who strongly agree with former Labour Party Minister, Pat Rabbitte, who has publicly declared his support for the IAG bid.

Mr Rabbitte - whose controversial comments have deeply divided his party - said on the basis of the information available to him, IAG acquiring control of Aer Lingus was the best option for the airline.

His public declaration is the most high-profile show of support from a government TD to date.

"A wide range of views have been articulated in relation to this matter," Mr Donohoe said.

''I think the Oireachtas Transport Committee, in particular, has been very helpful for allowing all sides of this story to be teased out.

"Deputy Rabbitte outlined his own view in relation to it.

Aer Lingus top brass will push for takeover by IAG

''I know there are some people who would share his view - there are others would differ with it. We'll do our best to take all of this into account."

However, he insisted the government is still very much undecided on the proposed bid, adding that it remains to be convinced in a number of areas.

"Obviously there was a lot of comment in relation to it over the weekend.

"But we've outlined how we're going to evaluate the proposed bid - in relation to share price, the impact of access, and on jobs," he told independent.ie.

Asked if there is a D-day when a final decision will be made, he said much rests with IAG chief executive Willie Walsh who "doesn't want this to go on forever."

"He said he would like to see a decision being made. But he is looking to buy the company,so he has his own reasons for outlining those timings."

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