Aer Lingus owner won't say whether it has plans to sue Ireland over Covid-19 quarantine

The owner of Aer Lingus, IAG has refused to say whether it is also considering suing the Irish Government after its group chief executive Willie Walsh said it was thinking of a legal challenge to Britain’s Covid-19 quarantine plan.
Aer Lingus owner won't say whether it has plans to sue Ireland over Covid-19 quarantine

The owner of Aer Lingus, IAG has refused to say whether it is also considering suing the Irish Government after its group chief executive Willie Walsh said it was thinking of a legal challenge to Britain’s Covid-19 quarantine plan.

Mr Walsh, who over the last 10 years has put together Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling into the IAG conglomerate told Sky News he was considering suing the British government over its 14-day quarantine, due to be introduced from Monday for arrivals from abroad.

Ireland which also operates the common travel area has a similar quarantine plan.

Mr Walsh said the industry had not been consulted by the British on the quarantine plan and he expected other airlines to consider their legal options too.

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary has described the plan as “useless” and a threat to the tourism industry, while Mr Walsh said it would torpedo any return to flying in July.

"It’s terrible. I wrote to MPs last night to say that this initiative has in effect torpedoed our opportunity to get flying in July," Mr Walsh said.

"We think it's irrational, we think it's disproportionate and we are giving consideration to a legal challenge to this legislation, so we're reviewing that with the lawyers later on today," he said.

He said other airlines were probably considering doing the same thing.

A corporate spokeswoman for IAG in London told the Irish Examiner it could not comment on whether IAG was considering suing the Irish Government over its similar quarantine and referred the query to its fully-owned unit, Aer Lingus.

A spokeswoman for Aer Lingus said: "Aer Lingus believes that the lifting of the 14-day quarantine period in Ireland should take place as soon as possible and with effect from 30 June at the latest.”

IAG’s British Airways and Aer Lingus, EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic, have between them announced almost 23,000 job cuts to prepare for a smaller travel market after the pandemic.

Relations between BA and the UK government have come under increasing strain as the crisis has progressed.

A junior UK transport minister agreed with an MP earlier this week who said BA should “pay a price” for putting thousands of staff on notice of redundancy while accessing the government’s salary support scheme.

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