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Ryanair to spark passenger price war with Aer Lingus after IAG takeover

By John Mulligan

Ryanair is planning a winter offensive at Dublin Airport to take on IAG following its looming £915m takeover of Aer Lingus.

Within weeks of the Aer Lingus takeover being completed, Ryanair is expected to reveal details of additional winter services from Dublin that will see it square up for what could be increasingly vigorous competition between the rivals at the Irish capital.

It will make for a price war that will benefit consumers, particularly on routes to continental Europe.

The number of Ryanair aircraft based at Dublin next winter will rise from 21 to 25, with increased frequencies on routes to destinations such as Berlin, Madrid and Manchester. But it is believed the number of planes based at Dublin next winter could now be increased beyond that 25, possibly to 30.

Outgoing Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington has thrown down a gauntlet to Ryanair, saying it will now have to work harder to compete against the former Irish state-owned airline.

"We've been competing with Ryanair for nearly 25 years," said Mr Barrington. "I think now, with the greater strength of the marketing network from IAG, Ryanair's going to have to try even harder to compete against us."

Ryanair has already agreed to sell its near 30% stake in Aer Lingus to IAG, with the takeover set to be completed as early as next month.

Read more:

Ryanair seeking Belfast return as it bids for slots freed up by Aer Lingus  

Government accepts IAG takeover of Aer Lingus 

  Michael O'Leary thinks Ryanair should be more like Sex Pistols

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