Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell has welcomed Minister Donohoe’s announcement of the Government’s latest position on the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by IAG.
“I am pleased that the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD has stated that the information and commitments provided by IAG thus far do not provide for a basis from which the Government would be in a position to irrevocably commit to accept an offer for its shares from IAG.
“The fact that IAG has offered to commit to operating the existing Heathrow slots for a period of five years is, in my opinion, simply unacceptable and I am pleased that the Government shares my view on this. While I understand that both Aer Lingus and IAG have indicated that the acceptance of a takeover bid may be positive for employment prospects at the airline, I would be wary of the extent to which it would benefit employment numbers in Dublin Fingal and Dublin Airport specifically. Given that a guarantee on Heathrow routes has only been given for a period of five years, I must question whether Aer Lingus would be able to effectively sustain, and grow, the size of its workforce in Dublin Airport in the long-term.
“The Government is open to considering any improved proposal from IAG. I would hope that any future proposal would provide more information on how IAG would intend to expand Aer Lingus’ workforce while also giving a stronger commitment on the airline’s connectivity to the UK, Europe, and further afield.
“I am pleased with the Government’s position on the proposed IAG bid. Without stronger commitments regarding the Heathrow routes and greater clarity in relation to employment prospects, this current proposal is not sufficient for the Government to commit to selling its shares. Given the value of employment by Aer Lingus to Dublin Fingal and the importance of international connectivity to the local economy, I believe that any bid must provide firm and irrevocable long-term commitments, in the best interests of Aer Lingus, its employees, Dublin Airport, and the State, before it can be deemed acceptable.”