Tuesday 16 January 2018

Correct decision on Aer Lingus is crucial

(L to R) Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport & Chair of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport John O'Mahony TD speaking to media on the Government's position on IAG's proposal to make an offer for Aer Lingus at the Plinth of Leinster House, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
(L to R) Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport & Chair of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport John O'Mahony TD speaking to media on the Government's position on IAG's proposal to make an offer for Aer Lingus at the Plinth of Leinster House, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Editorial

Editorial

The last thing Aer Lingus needed was to become a political football, but that is exactly the direction in which the International Airline Group (IAG) bid for the Government's 25pc stake in the airline appears to be going.

While the Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe, has adopted a reasonable strategy, in effect saying to Willie Walsh and the board of IAG 'come back with a better offer', the Labour Party is preparing to raise the issue at its weekend party conference, with some members demanding that the much-vaunted Heathrow slots be 'held in perpetuity' for the Irish nation.

This is a ridiculous notion in this fast-moving world, and especially in the airline industry, where we only have to look at how short a time it took Ryanair to become 10 times bigger than Aer Lingus.

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