|Photo: Aer Lingus
[Avionics Today 05-28-2015] The board of International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) and the independent directors of Aer Lingus Group have reached an agreement that allows IAG to move forward with the purchase of the airline. The agreement clears the terms of a recommended cash offer to be made by AERL Holding Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IAG, for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Aer Lingus, valued at more than $1.5 billion.
AIG expects the acquisition to provide substantial benefits to both IAG and Aer Lingus customers through an enhanced network, particularly to North America, using Dublin as a gateway hub for transatlantic routes. IAG has agreed with the government of Ireland to ensure that Aer Lingus will continue to hold its existing slots at London Heathrow airport; and will operate its current daily winter and summer scheduled frequencies between London Heathrow and Dublin, Cork and Shannon for at least seven years post-acquisition. IAG has also agreed to terms that the airline will operate all of its scheduled international air transport passenger services under the Aer Lingus brand, and maintain Aer Lingus as its registered name and its head office and place of incorporation in the Republic of Ireland.
"Aer Lingus, Ireland and IAG would all benefit from this deal. Aer Lingus would maintain control of its brand and operation while gaining strength as part of a profitable and sustainable airline group in an industry that's consolidating," said Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG. “Ireland's vital air links to Europe and North America would be enhanced, creating new jobs, with cast-iron guarantees on ownership of Aer Lingus' Heathrow slots and their use on flights to Dublin, Cork and Shannon. Acquiring Aer Lingus would add a fourth competitive, cost-effective airline to IAG, enabling us to develop our network using Dublin as a hub between the U.K., continental Europe and North America, generating additional financial value for our shareholders.”