Ryanair is making a third attempt to acquire rival Aer Lingus in a bid to create an all-Irish national champion.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair chief executive, has approached the Irish government to acquire its 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus.
The budget airline bought just over 29 per cent of Aer Lingus in 2006, so the government’s stake would give it majority control.
The European Commission has blocked two attempts by Ryanair to acquire Aer Lingus because of competition issues – one in 2006 and the other two years later. And Brussels still says that joining the two airlines would create a monopoly for Dublin flights