Picture: Courtesy of Adam Ryan 

Aer Lingus : “Aer Lingus’ position from the outset has been that Ryanair’s offer should never have been made. The series of inadequate remedy offers presented by Ryanair only underlines the view that Ryanair made its offer without any reasonable belief that it could obtain clearance.

Aer Lingus continues to cooperate with the UK Competition Commission (UK CC) in its investigation into Ryanair’s 29.8% shareholding in Aer Lingus. The UK CC investigation began following the referral by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading on 15 June 2012, which observed that “there is a realistic prospect that its stake has resulted or will result in a substantial lessening of competition. The announcement of Ryanair’s bid on 19 June, just four days later, was clearly motivated by a desire to derail the UK CC’s investigation. ” 

Chambers Ireland : “Chambers Ireland has campaigned extensively for this outcome which is the best result for Irish business. Any merger between Ryanair and Aer Lingus would be anti-competitive and could have lead to increased costs for business and consumers as well as a reduction in connectivity to major markets.”

EU Commission: “The European Commission has prohibited, on the basis of the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed takeover of the Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus by the low-cost airline Ryanair. The acquisition would have combined the two leading airlines operating from Ireland. The Commission concluded that the merger would have harmed consumers by creating a monopoly or a dominant position on 46 routes where, currently, Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete vigorously against each other.”

EC Vice President Competition Policy Joaquín Almunia: “The Commission’s decision protects more than 11 million Irish and European passengers who travel each year to and from Dublin, Cork, Knock and Shannon. For them, the acquisition of Aer Lingus by Ryanair would have most likely led to higher fares. During the procedure, Ryanair had many opportunities to offer remedies and to improve them. However, those proposals were simply inadequate to solve the very serious competition problems which this acquisition would have created on no less than 46 routes.”

Flybe: “Flybe is disappointed by the Commission’s announcement and remains firmly of the view that the proposed remedy – whereby Ryanair would transfer a number of aircraft and operating routes to Flybe – would have afforded credible and robust competition, including new jobs and bases in Ireland.”

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar: “This decision supports the Government’s view that a merger would be bad for competition in the Irish aviation market. Following detailed consideration of the proposal, the Government’s strongly held view is that a takeover of Aer Lingus by Ryanair would have a significant detrimental effect on competition, connectivity and employment in the Irish market. Similar to my own view, the Commission considered that the remedies proposed by Ryanair were insufficient to address the competition concerns. “

Ryanair : “Ryanair Confirmed that it will appeal the EU Commission’s announced decision to prohibit its latest offer for Aer Lingus, which was supported by an historic and unprecedented remedies package that included not one, but two upfront buyers (BA/IAG & Flybe) to take over approximately half of Aer Lingus’ short-haul business. The transfer to these upfront buyers of Aer Lingus’ business on the 46 crossover routes identified by the EU Commission, together with the relevant slots, aircraft, personnel and branding, was ensured by binding, irrevocable commitments by those upfront buyers including Board approvals.

The history of the EU’s treatment of Ryanair’s two offers for Aer Lingus conclusively proves that this prohibition is a “political” decision to pander to the vested interests of the Irish Government (a minority 25% shareholder in Aer Lingus) and is not one that is based on a fair and reasonable application of EU competition rules or precedent airline merger approvals in Europe.”

Irish Aviation Industry Independent Analysis:



Ryanair only responsible for half Ireland’s 23% reduction in passenger numbers since 2008

The Ryanair offer for Aer Lingus – how do the two airlines’ networks at Dublin compare?



Irish Aviation Research Institute © 27th February 2013 All Rights Reserved.