Aer Lingus battles continue

Aer Lingus saw a positive 2014
Aer Lingus saw a positive 2014

Both Ryanair and International Airlines Group (IAG) have made announcements regarding Aer Lingus in the last day as activity around its ownership continues.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has agreed with the UK Competition Commission’s report that Ryanair should reduce its stake in Aer Lingus from 29.8% to 5% and has also limited Ryanair’s ability to re-acquire shares.

The judgement has also refused permission for Ryanair to appeal to the Supreme Court, although Ryanair said it will still appeal to the decision. It aims to take the decision to the UK Supreme Court and has requested a formal review by the CMA.

“While we note the Court of Appeal’s ruling on the CMA’s Final Report on Ryanair’s 29%  stake in Aer Lingus, this judgment ignores the fact that the CMA’s Final Report was based on fanciful hypotheses, secretive “evidence” and unsubstantiated assumptions. As such, we have instructed our lawyers to appeal this ruling to the UK Supreme Court,” said Ryanair’s Robin Kiely.

He added: “Additionally, Ryanair has now requested a formal review by the CMA of its Final Report, and a withdrawal of the divestment remedy, in light of the recent IAG offers for Aer Lingus, which wholly disprove the CMA’s unsubstantiated claim that Ryanair’s shareholding somehow prevented other airlines from merging with or bidding for Aer Lingus. Clearly the CMA’s case has now been totally undermined by the IAG offers.”

In response International Airlines Group (IAG), which is trying to buy Aer Lingus, said it would attempt to limit the amount of jobs lost at the airline should its takeover bid be successful. The group would aim to create an additional 500 jobs and build a stronger brand for the carrier.

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