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Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Legally Binding

The three promises IAG has made to the Irish government about Aer Lingus

The company said it would make legally binding commmitments.

Updated 4.45pm

INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES Group (IAG) has issued a statement outlining the promises it will make to the Irish government to secure the acquisition of Aer Lingus.

In the note, British Airways’ parent company says it “proposing to offer legally binding commitments” to the government which it says “go well beyond the protections currently available”.

Within those promises, IAG says it will commit to operating Irish routes on the airline’s Heathrow slots for a period of five years.

The statement outlines the three proposed commitments that it hopes will sweeten the deal for the State, which owns a 25% stake in the business:

  • That the airline’s 23 slot pairs at London Heathrow cannot be sold, even to other IAG airlines, without the explicit agreement of the Irish government. 
  • That the airline’s name, head office location or place of incorporation in the Republic of Ireland cannot be changed, without the explicit agreement of the Irish government.
  • To operate the slots on Irish routes for five years.

“We are committed to maintaining and strengthening Aer Lingus,” chief executive Willie Walsh said in a statement.

“We want to develop air services that ensure Ireland’s connectivity is enhanced,” he continued.

These commitments would give the Irish Government an important role that they do not have today in securing the future of Aer Lingus.

In a brief statement this afternoon, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said he is aware of the commitments given by IAG this afternoon, and he “will examine the details very carefully”.

IAG has offered to pay €2.55 per share for Aer Lingus, a deal which would value the airline at about €1.35 billion.

Since then the potential deal has been caught up in a political bun-fight amid concerns over what the deal would mean for the future of the national carrier, its workers and international links to Ireland.

Explainer: Why does IAG want to get its hands on Aer Lingus so badly?

Read: Need to get to Donegal? You can now fly there from Dublin

Related: ‘A small regional peripheral airline’ – Michael O’Leary dismisses Aer Lingus talk

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