Unions issue warning over Aer Lingus job losses

By Phil Davies,

Aer Lingus unions warned of 1,200 job losses, equal to about 30% of the Irish flag carrier’s workforce, if British Airways owner International Airlines Group is allowed to take over the airline.

IAG is closer to launching a formal takeover after the board of Aer Lingus said that it would recommend a €1.36 billion, €2.55-per-share offer.

Accountants from IAG went into Aer Lingus yesterday to check the books before posting a formal offer.

Irish transport minister Paschal Donohoe said there were unanswered questions about the effect on Aer Lingus workers and the connectivity of air routes into and out of the country.

“The onus is very much on IAG to display how they would seek to respond to these matters,” he said, indicating that the government may lay down a number of remedies it needs to support the offer, something that could stretch the conclusion of the deal by a number of weeks.

The deal is contingent on the support of the Irish coalition government, which owns 25% of the airline.

IAG’s offer of €2.50 a share plus the promise of a 5 cent dividend will also have to win support from Ryanair, a 29% shareholder in Aer Lingus.

The BA parent has pledged to operate Aer Lingus as a separate business with its own brand, management and operations.

The carrier would continue to provide connectivity to Ireland, “while benefitting from the scale of being part of the larger IAG group”.

Sourced by Travel Weekly

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