Belfast Telegraph

IAG's Aer Lingus takeover plan approved by EC

The European Commission has approved the International Airline Group's proposed acquisition of Aer Lingus.

The commission expressed concerns about fair competition but the deal was given the go-ahead after IAG agreed to release five daily slot pairs at London Gatwick airport.

Aer Lingus will also continue to carry connecting passengers to the long-haul flights of competing airlines.

An IAG statement said: "International Consolidated Airlines Group welcomes today's decision by the European Commission to approve its offer for Aer Lingus."

IAG has offered a number of commitments to the EC as part of the regulatory process.

:: Five daily slot pairs will be made available to other airlines at London Gatwick for flights between the airport and Dublin or Belfast.

:: Two of the five daily frequencies must be operated between Gatwick and Dublin.

:: One daily frequency must be operated between Gatwick and Belfast.

:: The other two frequencies can be operated between Gatwick and either Dublin or Belfast.

:: Other airlines can apply for seats on Aer Lingus' shorthaul network for their transfer passengers, on normal commercial terms.

EC approval was a condition of the offer, IAG said.

IAG also owns British Airways and Spain's Iberia. It launched its 1.3 billion euro (£915m) takeover bid for Aer Lingus in January.

Last week Ryanair agreed to sell its nearly 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus.


From Belfast Telegraph