In late breaking news the Irish Government is now in a position to dispose of its stake of Aer Lingus to International Airlines Group – the holding company of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.
According to BBC News:
The takeover has been widely anticipated, and has been trailed for some time – with offers going in.
@AlexinAir has obtained a statement from the Irish Goverment:
— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) May 26, 2015
The full release is at https://static.rasset.ie/documents/news/final-2-5-english-rns-pdf.pdf, however the Irish Government is set to earn €335 million from the transaction, with the sale at €2.55 a share and valuing the airline at €1.4 billion.
The purchase of the Irish Government’s share of Aer Lingus has been ongoing for some time as the Irish state seeks to realise the value of the airline – whilst protecting routes from Ireland to the United Kingdom and beyond.
In particular, the Heathrow slots owned by Aer Lingus will remain the property of the Aer Lingus, and will not be shared around IAG group airlines.
If the rest of Aer Lingus is obtained, it will be run as an independent business unit of IAG (much like British Airways, Iberia and Vueling are), with Aer Lingus able to use IAG’s purchasing power – as well as its loyalty scheme.
Additionally, Aer Lingus will re-join oneworld in due course, with the iconic Aer Lingus brand to remain.
For the passengers its going to be very interesting, as going via Dublin opens up a lot of new possibilities – least of all between Ireland and North America – where passengers can pre-clear US Immigration. It also adds another excuse for those who want to avoid changing at Heathrow airport.
Whilst the news that the Irish government is now happy to sell its stake in Aer Lingus is welcome to the airlines future, there will still be many barriers still to be met – least of all if one of the larger owners of Aer Lingus will wish to sell part the airline.
That owner? Ryanair….
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.