Belfast Telegraph

Walsh set to arrive for charm offensive with key executives on the merits of his £1bn takover

By John Mulligan

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh will jet into Dublin in coming days to begin a major charm offensive to win over the Aer Lingus board and the government over its planned takeover.

A number of meetings are expected to take place between advisors and key executives at both airline groups.

IAG first has to persuade the Aer Lingus board, which is headed by chairman Colm Barrington, that it can address any concerns the government has about the planned €1.4bn (£1bn) takeover.

The Aer Lingus board could formally recommend IAG's offer once it believes the Republic's government's concerns are likely to have been adequately addressed.

Key to convincing the Aer Lingus board will be detailing how connectivity between Ireland's main airports to key UK destinations including London Heathrow will be maintained.

IAG will also reveal more detailed plans on how it intends to grow Aer Lingus, particularly its transatlantic business. Addressing concerns raised about Aer Lingus jobs is also certain to feature. In tandem, a team of IAG advisors and executives will begin poring over detailed financial information and operational projections provided from Aer Lingus.

That process is likely to be completed within a couple of weeks. A spokesman for IAG said the company has no current plans to alter Aer Lingus's route network.

Belfast Telegraph