“It seems to me so farfetched, this proposition, that we don’t bother wasting our time on it,” Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller said yesterday as he unveiled a 40 per cent rise in operating profit to €69.1m (£59.7m) for 2012.
Ryanair made its third bid for the company last year, valuing Aer Lingus at €694m. But its deal hinges on offloading some routes to British airline FlyBe to allay competition concerns. The European Commission will decide on the deal by 6 March.
“We question very much that Flybe will be an independent competitor to Ryanair and we are working from the assumption that we will be around next year,” added Mueller.