Ryanair confident on Aer Lingus bid

Ryanair is confident it can allay competition concerns about its latest bid for rival Aer Lingus, its chief executive said today, adding the budget airline was also seeking no more than a 25 per cent stake in Stansted Airport.

Ryanair launched its third offer in five years for Irish rival Aer Lingus in June, a €694m (£550m) bid that the former state carrier has urged shareholders to reject, while it is also interested in buying a slice of London's third-biggest airport.

Europe's competition regulator last week launched an in-depth review of Ryanair's latest Aer Lingus bid, signalling the airline may have to make big concessions to ease competition concerns or face fresh failure.

"We are confident that the remedies package will be enough to satisfy competition issues," Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary said.

"There are 46 cross over routes and we will remedy all of them by getting airlines to come to Dublin and take them over," O'Leary added, referring to routes on which both Ryanair and Aer Lingus operate.

A source familiar with the matter has told Reuters the company was talking to British Airways and Virgin Atlantic about possibly opening routes and divesting airport slots.