Aer Lingus second in race for Heathrow slots
Aer Lingus looks set to lose out in the race to acquire daily slots from London Heathrow to Edinburgh that are being offered as a condition of the takeover of UK carrier BMI by International Airlines Group (IAG), which is led by Irishman Willie Walsh.
Aer Lingus was told by the European Commission yesterday that it has been ranked second in its application for the six daily slot pairs offered on the Heathrow to Edinburgh route. It is not clear who was ranked first but Virgin Atlantic is believed to have pitched strongly for the routes.
“We are awaiting receipt of a copy of the European Commission’s decision setting out the basis of this ranking,” Aer Lingus said in a statement released to The Irish Times yesterday. “The process is still ongoing, and we will consider the European Commission’s decision in detail upon receipt.”
Aer Lingus already has 23 daily slot pairs at Heathrow. It currently flies to Heathrow from Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast.
In March the European Commission cleared IAG’s takeover of BMI on condition that it would release 14 daily slot pairs at Heathrow to other airlines.