Howlin: No decision yet on Aer Lingus sale

Howlin: No decision yet on Aer Lingus sale

The Public Expenditure Minister said the Cabinet will need to consider "all issues" relating to the Aer Lingus takeover bid - and economic benefit to the Irish people will be key.

In a statement this morning, Aer Lingus's board recommended that shareholders accept a €1.3 billion from International Airlines Group - if final details can be arranged with shareholders including the Government and Ryanair.

SIPTU and IMPACT trade unions have already voiced their concern about a potential deal, saying it could put jobs at risk.

Further worries have been voiced about the future of routes at Cork and Shannon Airport, as well as Aer Lingus’s valuable landing slots at London Heathrow.

Minister Brendan Howlin said no decision has yet been taken by the Government.

"We have to see what the future for Aer Lingus will be," he said. "The work done by the Aer Lingus staff in making it a world-class airline, in ensuring that it's growing … it's something that we're very proud of and we certainly will make sure it continues into the future."

"Even if the Government sat and kept all the 25% [of shares] - it would be possible for some outside interest to have a controlling interest in Aer Lingus.

"Holding on 25% of the shares was done for … the growth, the development, the economic benefit for the people of Ireland. [That] will be critical for any decision we make in relation to our minority shareholding."

In a statement this morning, the Aer Lingus board said IAG intend to run the airline "as a separate business with its own brand, management and operations … while benefitting from the scale of being part of the larger IAG group."

Labour TD Michael McNamara represents the Clare constituency and he thinks business at Shannon airport could be a valuable asset for IAG.

He wants some reassurance on its future.

Mr McNamara said: "Now I'm not requesting the company predict the future and guarantee future services, but what I am looking for is a legally binding assurance that the exisiting services will be maintained.

"British Airways did use Shannon Airport for business class-only flights out of London City, it would be great to see that service further developed and increased.

"I have every reason to believe that it's possible."


More in this Section

Teenage victim of paedophile ring packed knife to confront sex offender over unwanted advances, court hearsTeenage victim of paedophile ring packed knife to confront sex offender over unwanted advances, court hears

Environmental group wins landmark case over large-scale peat extractionEnvironmental group wins landmark case over large-scale peat extraction

Quinn staff 'demand an end to this reign of terror' following attack on executive Quinn staff 'demand an end to this reign of terror' following attack on executive

Families moving back into their homes after Dublin flats fireFamilies moving back into their homes after Dublin flats fire


Lifestyle

Your guide to what's going on in the gardening world this week.Gardening notes: Your guide to what's on

I went to Holy Faith in Clontarf in Dublin and I still have a big group of friends from school. These days, like most people, we use a WhatsApp group to communicate!School Daze with Nadia Forde: I wish I had embraced my differences at school

More From The Irish Examiner