Stephen Kavanagh told the Oireachtas transport committee the deal would offer the greatest protection possible to services to Cork and Shannon by increasing and sustaining profitability on the routes.
Committee members were told there was no chance that the viability of regional routes, which Mr Kavanagh described as core to its business proposition, would be “in any way compromised” by an IAG takeover.
Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington told the committee he believed Aer Lingus, as part of IAG, could eclipse IAG chief executive Willie Walsh’s estimate that it would create 500 jobs over the next five years, claiming that the growth of its long-haul fleet could facilitate even greater employment.
Additionally, the airline would benefit from considerable economies of scale and gain access to far greater passenger numbers.
Mr Kavanagh said IAG’s €2.55 per share proposal offered an opportunity that may never be achievable by Aer Lingus on a standalone basis.
Having the might of IAG’s marketing machine would accelerate and sustain the growth of the airline and effectively see three other carriers sell Aer Lingus seats as if they were their own, Mr Kavanagh added.