BA could take over Aer Lingus slots

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.

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Report by Rob Gill

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  • I’ve never experienced a more unaccomodating airline than Ryan Air. Absolutely the rudest staff I’ve ever encountered in over 45 years of flying and travelling the world, and a sensationalistic CEO with wacky ideas and confusing & rediculous pricing schemes that constantly change.

    As an American living in Ireland, most Irish friends and people I meet avoid Ryan Air and choose Aer Lingus when there is a choice. Aer Lingus shows the true colors of Ireland and the friendly nature of Ireland; maybe that’s why they are doing pretty well in this difficult financial climate.

    I used to fly BA on many if my trans continental journies since I was a kid… And had many pleasant & top notch experiences. Sadly, they have gone downhill too, and it’s very expensive to fly with them. If they support Ryan Airs hostile takeover of Aer Lingus… I will never give them another chance again.

    How does this benefit the consumer? Winning slots at Heathrow, at the expense of destroying a great airline that truly represents the best spirit Ireland can offer? And then use those slots down the road for different markets altogether? Surely this won’t be allowed to happen?

    I wouldn’t even sell airplanes to Ryan Air. And I come from a Boeing family. Ryan Air is bad for the industry and they are sabotaging great travel experiences at the expense of good airlines that have pride in the service they provide.

    BA… Do you really want to jeapordize your public opinion even more than you already have this past decade? Don’t fall for the golden carrot… You’ll loose more than you will gain.

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