Ryanair could dispose of Aer Lingus slots

Marion Dakers
RYANAIR is said to have held talks about selling off Aer Lingus’ landing slots at Heathrow if its takeover bid is successful.

The Irish carrier, whose latest €694m (£545m) bid for Aer Lingus was rejected last month, has spoken to Virgin Atlantic and other carriers about offloading the 23 take-off and landing slots, according to the Sunday Times.

The deal would hand Virgin its longed-for chance to expand at Heathrow, while allowing Ryanair to stay away from the close-to-capacity airport and its comparatively pricey airline charges.

Aer Lingus, however, is looking to add more slots at Heathrow, as it pursues its own growth strategy while fending off Ryanair’s advances. Executives at the firm, which declined to comment yesterday, have insisted that the company can thrive without its Irish rival’s takeover bid.

Ryanair declined to comment, while Virgin did not return calls.