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News about Aer Lingus

Etihad buys stake in Aer Lingus in possible link-up deal

1 May 2012

Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad has quietly acquired 2.987 per cent of Aer Lingus‘s shares over the past couple of months.

Aer Lingus last night confirmed it was in discussions with Etihad in relation to reciprocal code-sharing arrangements. The two airlines are also investigating the possibility of joint procurement opportunities.

Aer Lingus said Etihad had given an undertaking it does not intend to increase its shareholding pending the outcome of these discussions. Aer Lingus said: “‘There is no certainty as to the outcome of these discussions.’”


Ryanair issues fresh threat over Aer Lingus EGM

26 November 2011

Irish airline Ryanair said it will pursue Aer Lingus directors for a breach of company law if the former state carrier refuses again to hold an extraordinary general meeting.

Ryanair, Aer Lingus’s largest shareholder with a near 30 percent stake, said on Thursday it had the right to request a meeting at which it wanted to discuss Aer Lingus’s 400 million euros ($534 million) pension deficit and a tax settlement.

While Ireland is considering selling its 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus as part of a wider sale of state assets under an EU-IMF bailout, the airline’s pension deficit, larger than its 380 million euros market value, is a major stumbling block.

source: Reuters

Etihad in talks to buy Aer Lingus stake

17 October 2011

Etihad, the fast-growing Middle Eastern airline, has approached the Irish government to buy its 25 per cent stake in flag-carrier Aer Lingus, people with knowledge of the move said.

The approach comes after the debt-laden Irish sovereign said in September it would sell its stake in the national carrier. Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s transport minister, said that he would not sell it for less than €1 per share, which would value the stake at €132.4m ($183m) and the airline at €529.6m.


Ryanair says BA most likely Aer Lingus buyer

30 September 2011

British Airways (BA) would be the most likely buyer of the Irish government’s 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus, the Irish airline’s largest shareholder Ryanair said on Thursday.

BA, which formed the International Airlines Group when it merged with Spain’s Iberia last year, has not expressed interest in buying the Aer Lingus stake, which the Irish government is considering selling.

source: Reuters

Aer Lingus rejects Ryanair’s pay-out call

29 September 2011

Aer Lingus has rejected calls by Ryanair, its largest shareholder, for the Irish flag-carrier to pay a special dividend.

Colm Barrington, Aer Lingus chairman, has told Ryanair that the carrier’s board is sticking by its view of May’s annual meeting that a dividend should be considered once a “‘more durable’” economic recovery is apparent.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair have been locked in a fractious relationship since Europe’s largest low-cost airline by revenue launched the first of two failed takeover bids in 2006. Both bids faltered after objections by the Irish government and European competition authorities.


Ireland considers selling €89m Aer Lingus stake to cut national debt

10 September 2011

Transport minister Leo Varadkar said Aer Lingus is ‘”certainly under consideration'” as part of the government’s attempts to raise €2bn (£1.8bn) through asset sales as it desperately battles to cut national debt.

“‘That stake in the past was held for strategic reasons,'” Mr Varadkar told Irish media on Wednesday. “‘I don’t think that really stands anymore.'”

The government had considered Aer Lingus’s slots at Heathrow airport to be vital to Ireland. However, their importance has diminished because of an increase in direct flights to and from Dublin.


Aer Lingus celebrates 75th anniversary

3 June 2011

The airline’s early growth was stalled by the onset of the second World War. Yet when peace returned, it quickly established a route network to the Continent and then to the United States. It played a role in the growth of Ireland’s tourism and industrial development that cannot be overstated.

When Aer Lingus celebrated its half century in 1986, it dominated aviation in Ireland. A year before, an upstart challenger had appeared on the scene. But with just one 15-seat aircraft, 25 staff and only a Waterford-London route, Ryanair was not giving Aer Lingus executives any sleepless nights. Much has changed since then.

The State holds a 25 per cent shareholding to prevent Ryanair gaining a controlling stake. Given the Government’s need to sell non-essential assets, however, retaining that share is hard to justify.


Ryanair tries to take over Aer Lingus for third time

7 May 2011

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


Aer Lingus returns to profit

7 March 2011

Irish airline Aer Lingus returned to profit in 2010 despite a 10% drop in passenger numbers but higher fuel prices mean that 2011 operating profit is likely to be lower.

The yield per passenger rose 12% to €107.12 each so there was a 1% increase in overall revenue to €1.22bn. A 10% fall in operating costs helped Aer Lingus swing from a loss of €154.8m to a pre-tax profit of €30.4m in 2010.


Aer Lingus Aims to Join Alliance

28 January 2010

Aer Lingus Group Plc aims to join a global airline alliance to add destinations and attract more passengers after dropping its “no-frills” business model, Chief Executive Officer Christoph Mueller said in an interview.

Aer Lingus pulled out of the Oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways Plc, in 2006, saying the revenue benefits weren’t sufficient. The carrier continues to codeshare with BA, meaning the pair sell tickets on each other’s flights, and has similar pacts with Air France’s Dutch unit KLM and UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, members of the SkyTeam and Star groups.

Ryanair Holdings Plc, Aer Lingus’s biggest competitor and a 29 percent shareholder after two failed takeover bids, doesn’t have alliances with other airlines and operates its routes as point-to-point services without connections to other flights. The strategy has made it Europe’s biggest discount carrier.