Shares in the Irish state controlled carrier Aer Lingus are to be listed on the Dublin and London stock exchanges at the end of September. The flotation is expected to raise around 400 million euros. The price of the shares will be announced in mid September. The airline said becoming a publicly listed company will give it more resources to buy new aircraft and expand services.
The government currently owns 85.1% of the company and plans to retain 25.1% of the shares. An employee trust holds the remaining 14.9%. The airline’s unions are opposed to the privatisation fearing job cuts. Aer Lingus nearly collapsed after the 11th September 2001 attacks in the US. It returned to profit by almost halving its staff and moving to an internet-based, low-fares, system similar to that of its main domestic rival, Ryanair.