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TDs outline key demands in deal for Aer Lingus sale

EIGHT Labour Party TDs have put forward four concrete demands which must be met before they are willing to support the Aer Lingus deal.

The emergency motion is to be put to colleagues during the party's conference this weekend. It calls for "meaningful, reliable and long-term guarantees" around issues of connectivity and the Heathrow slots.

The motion, if passed, would put serious pressure on Fine Gael not to support the sale of the State's 25.1pc shareholding.

It is being put forward by TDs Joe Costello, Michael McNamara, Eamonn Maloney, Sean Kenny, Dominic Hannigan, Brendan Ryan, Robert Dowds and John Lyons.

The deputies call on the Government to reject the IAG bid unless it addresses the following:

l The serious concern that the present bid fails to reflect the true value of Aer Lingus and, therefore, an independent valuation of the assets of the company is required, in particular, a valuation of the 23 Heathrow slots.

l The need for a firm commitment in the form of a Registered Employment Agreement to protect Aer Lingus workers' employment and conditions of employment.

l Meaningful, reliable and long-term guarantees around connectivity and the Heathrow slots.

l The need to articulate a comprehensive plan to promote Shannon and Cork airports, taking into account their distinct business models and impact on their individual regions

The motion states that the Labour Party has always strived to "act in the best interests" of the company.

It notes Aer Lingus has "achieved in 2014 record high levels of revenue and passenger numbers, which are forecast to continue to grow solidly".

Transport minister Paschal Donohoe announced earlier this week that the government was rejecting IAG's bid for the airline in its current form but left the door open to future offers.