International Airlines Group’s (IAG) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) (London) continued seduction of Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus (Dublin) seems to be finally working, as the airline is revealing the positives of a takeover by the owner of British and Spanish flag carriers British Airways (London-Heathrow) and Iberia (Madrid).
In a statement to The Guardian, Christoph Mueller, the clover-tailed carrier’s outgoing CEO says that Ireland’s entire economy will benefit if the International Airlines Group takes over Aer Lingus.
Mueller, who steps down as CEO of the airline this week, said IAG’s £1.02 billion (€1.4 billion) ($1.57 billion) offer to buy Aer Lingus would be the biggest single foreign investment in the Republic since the financial crash.
He continued that there was “a great deal of excitement” that Aer Lingus would be able to create jobs on a much larger scale if IAG took charge of the former state-run airline.
Mueller also stressed that talks between IAG and the Aer Lingus trade unions had been “very constructive”.
Aer Lingus announced on Tuesday that its profits had risen by almost 18% to €72 million ($81.6 million) from the previous year. Total revenue was up by 9.2%. For the first time in the airline’s history the number of passengers has exceeded 11 million.
On the hike in profits and the IAG take-over proposal, Mueller added: We profitably expanded our long-haul network utilizing our cost advantage and favorable geographic position and helped establish Dublin as the 7th largest European hub for transatlantic connections.
“Our short-haul business continued to demonstrate its resilience despite a highly competitive market. Commercial initiatives, in addition to cost control, led to the highest operating profit since the financial crisis and 17.8% above last year.”
Read more from The Guardian: CLICK HERE
Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock reporting from Manchester.
Update: The Irish government late on February 24 stated it cannot accept the current offer from IAG for Aer Lingus. The government according to the BBC has raised concerns and wants more information before selling its share. Red the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. A takeover by IAG would lead to an updated fleet. Aircraft like this wet leased Air Contractors Boeing 757-2Q8 EI-LBR (msn 28167) would be phased out.
Aer Lingus aircraft slide show: