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'Government has an open mind about the sale of Aer Lingus' - Simon Harris

Harris said the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe is pushing for finality on the issue in the coming weeks.
Mar 8th 2015, 3:10 PM 5,527 43

THE SALE OF Aer Lingus is still a very “live” issue and one that needs to be “thrashed out” further, said Fine Gael TD Simon Harris.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Week in Politics, Harris said it was fair to say the government have an “open mind” about the sale of the airline.

He said it was considering all aspects from the Heathrow slots, connectivity, and jobs.

Harris said the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe is pushing for finality on the issue in the coming weeks.

While he said it was too early to preempt the results of discussions between IAG and the government, he said it must also consider  the consequences of not selling their 25% share in the airline.

Future investment and where it might come from must be considered, he said.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TD Seán Ó Fearghaíl said his party was “instinctively opposed” to the sale of Aer Lingus.

However, he said if a compelling argument could be put forward it would consider it.

He questioned the recent five year commitments made by IAG’s Willie Walsh, saying that the long-term perspective for the airline cannot be ignored.

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Christina Finn

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