The ballad of the sale of Aer Lingus continues, with Ryanair to sell its stake to International Airlines Group.
Ryanair currently hold 29.8% of its competitor Aer Lingus.
The action by Ryanair will allow International Airlines Group (owner of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling) to proceed with the purchase of Aer Lingus.
IAG needed both the Irish Government and Ryanair to sell their stakes in Aer Lingus for the sale to go ahead.
The sale of stake of Aer Lingus is subject to the clearance of the Competition and Markets Authority, as well as European competition authorities.
The ever shy and retiring CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary stated
“We believe the IAG offer for Aer Lingus is a reasonable one in the current market and we plan to accept it, in the best interests of Ryanair shareholders. The price means that Ryanair will make a small profit on its investment in Aer Lingus over the past 9 years.
This sale of our stake is timely given that our original strategy for Aer Lingus (to use it as a mid-priced brand to offer competition to flag carriers at primary airports) has been overtaken by the successful rollout – since Sept 2013 – of Ryanair’s “Always Getting Better” strategy, which has seen the Ryanair brand successfully enter many of Europe’s primary airports, being rewarded with strong growth in our network, traffic, load factor and profitability, while keeping our fares low and our punctuality high.
So, as the dominoes line up for the knock down of Aer Lingus, it’s all down to the Extraordinary General Meeting where the sale of Aer Lingus to IAG is expected to be rubber stamped.
With plans to run Aer Lingus as business unit (as British Airways, Iberia and Vueling do) and plans for a transatlantic hub to be built up, the future remains bright for one of my favourite carriers.
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