Ryanair is taking its legal challenge over Aer Lingus to the UK Supreme Court, claiming it is a human rights issue.
The budget airline had previously been told by the Competition and Markets Authority to sell most of its 29 per cent stake in Aer Lingus, reducing its holding to no more than five per cent.
Ryanair challenged this decision, but was today rejected by the UK Court of Appeal, with spokesman Robin Kiely describing the CMA's final report as being “based on fanciful hypotheses, secretive 'evidence' and unsubstantiated assumptions”.
As a result the Michael O'Leary-fronted business has instructed lawyers to appeal the ruling at the UK Supreme Court.
“It raises human rights issues of significant public importance, including the scope of protection offered to businesses by the right to property,” the company said.
Ryanair has also requested a formal review by the CMA of its final report in light of recent offers by International Airlines Group (IAG) for Aer Lingus, claiming these “fully disprove the theories and unsubstantiated evidence on which the final report was based”.
“The CMA speculated in its final report that Ryanair's 29 per cent shareholding would deter other airlines from merging with or bidding for Aer Lingus,” a company statement said.
“Clearly the CMA's case has now been totally undermined by the IAG offers,” Kiely added.