O'Leary confident on Aer Lingus bid
Ryanair today said it was confident European Union regulators would give the go-ahead for its proposed €694 million bid for Aer Lingus.
The budget airline said it expected a response in early March.
"Ryanair has submitted a radical and unprecedented remedies package to the EU in support of its offer for Aer Lingus," chief executive Michael O'Leary said.
"The remedies involve two upfront buyers each basing aircraft in Ireland to take over and operate a substantial part of Aer Lingus' existing route network and short-haul business."
Ryanair owns 29.8 per cent of Aer Lingus and in June launched its third takeover attempt to acquire its Irish rival at €1.30 per share.
In December, the Government, which owns 25.1 per cent of Aer Lingus, rejected Ryanair’s bid, citing concerns about connectivity and Ireland’s competitiveness.
The EU blocked a takeover effort five years earlier, saying it would create a monopoly for Irish flights.
To address competition issues, Ryanair’s remedies package to the commission included selling 20 of Aer Lingus’s 24 slots at London Heathrow to British Airways and surrendering other routes to United Kingdom carrier Flybe.