Stark Warning About Aer Lingus Sale

Aer LingusAer Lingus

A prominent transport economist has issued a stark warning regarding the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus. Senator Sean Barrett maintains that the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus presents a clear danger to Ireland’s fragile economic recovery. He warned that a deal could leave the country stranded like ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘endanger’ vital trade links with America.
Barrett’s warning comes as Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe is in the final stages of readiness to present the takeover bid to cabinet for approval.
However, the final report is likely to ignite Coalition tensions, with sizeable cohorts of Government TDs, particularly here in the North County against the deal, They cite connectivity issues, as well as job losses in the airline, as reasons for heir opposition to any deal that hands over ownership of the national airline.
Senator Barrett said that the Government should be concerned over the consequences of our connectivity with America. He said, ‘An IAG takeover could mean Ireland will move from having the fastest-growing cross-Atlantic travel market, to being as stranded as Robinson Crusoe when it comes to flights to America. He said that connectivity played a major role in attracting American foreign direct investment into Ireland in 2013.
He warned that the Government should be very aware in ‘aviation terms’ that an IAG-Aer Lingus merger could endanger Ireland’s direct links to the US. He also maintained that ‘it was far from likely that IAG aviation policy would be driven by the national interest, to ensure that everything we do facilities the essential American role in our economic recovery.’
Other informed opinion on the sale speaks about the sale signalling the end of low-cost fares for Irish travellers. One insider suggests that the if the Irish state acquiesces to the sale of Aer Lingus to one of it’s main competitors, this will immediately weaken competition on routes across the Irish Sea. It will eliminate direct competition on the strategic Heathrow route, unless someone else steps in.”