LOCAL deputies have expressed shock and surprise that the sale of Aer Lingus appears set to go ahead.
A number of Limerick politicians had vehemently opposed the sale, especially due to concerns over the protection of Heathrow slots from Shannon Airport and any potential impact the sale could have on business in the mid-west region.
However, a Government decision on the sale of the State’s 25.1 per cent stake in Aer Lingus to International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) will have to wait at least until after Friday’s constitutional and by-election votes are out of the way. IAG says it is willing to pay €1.36 billion for Aer Lingus, once both the State and Ryanair agree to sell their respective stakes, which together amount to 54.9 per cent of the Irish flag carrier.
Clare Labour TD Michael McNamara has expressed surprise at media reports that the cabinet has effectively decided to sell the Government’s share.
“I supported a motion at the recent Labour Party conference calling on the Government to reject any further takeover bid that does not clearly address the need to articulate a plan which would promote Shannon and Cork airports, taking into account their distinct business models and impact on their individual regions.”
“I would expect that IAG would produce such a plan if it hopes that Labour TDs, like myself, would vote in the Dáil to accept its takeover plan. I haven’t even heard mention of any such plan,” Mr McNamara said.