British Airways is set to gain another 20 slots at Heathrow if Ryanair’s succeeds in its latest bid for Irish rival Aer Lingus.
BA’s owner IAG has agreed a preliminary deal with Ryanair which would give it 20 of Aer Lingus’ 24 landing slots at Heathrow if the hostile takeover goes ahead.
European Commission regulators are currently scrutinising Ryanair’s third bid for Aer Lingus with a decision on whether to let it go ahead scheduled for January.
As part of its moves to persuade the EU to approve the takeover, Ryanair has reached a “memorandum of understanding” with IAG which would see BA running current Aer Lingus services from Heathrow to Cork, Shannon and Dublin.
BA would run these routes for a period of between three and five years, after which the airline could use them on other routes.
The extra 20 slots would further reinforce BA’s dominant position at Heathrow having gained 42 slots at the airport through the purchase of Bmi earlier this year.
“We have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Ryanair which is subject to EC approval and IAG board approval,” said IAG in a statement.
Ryanair has also agreed a similar arrangement with regional airline Flybe which would see it operate on 20 routes to and from Ireland.
Report by Rob Gill
This article was originally published on our sister site abtn.co.uk.