Ryanair hopes to woo EU with compromise on Aer Lingus bid

City A.M. Reporter
IRISH low-cost airline Ryanair has offered concessions to European Union antitrust regulators in a bid to secure regulatory clearance to acquire local rival Aer Lingus.

Ryanair, whose most recent bid for Aer Lingus in June valued the firm at €694m (£566m), hopes to convince the European Commission that a takeover would not restrict competition on routes out of Ireland.

The European Commission did not detail Ryanair’s offer, which was submitted last Wednesday. The EU executive has set a 6 February deadline for its decision on the deal, having stood in the way of earlier advances from Ryanair.

Earlier this month, Ryanair said Europe’s biggest budget airline would scrap some of both its and Aer Lingus’s routes from Ireland, and may set up a Brussels base for Aer Lingus as part of a package of concessions.

He said British Airways, Citijet and Virgin Atlantic Airways, had expressed interest in taking over some of the routes.

Ryanair’s bid has currently lapsed, but the firm has pledged to renew its advances if Europe gives its blessing.