Ireland’s national carrier, Aer Lingus, has received a takeover bid from its Irish rival, Ryanair. Europe’s biggest budget airline has offered 1.48 billion euros. The company’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, says the offer represents a “unique opportunity to form a strong airline group for Ireland and for European consumers.” If the bid is successful, the two companies would continue to operate separately and compete on the 17 routes which both use, he added.
If accepted, Aer Lingus employees would gain 200 million euros from the sale while the Irish Government would get more than 500 million euros which it plans to use to fund infrastructure projects such as the building of new motorways. Ryanair said that if the deal went through, Aer Lingus would be able to cut the price of its short-haul fares and its fuel surcharge. it also said it would be able to improve Aer Lingus’ long-haul service and its cargo division.