Abu Dhabi headquartered airline Etihad Airways has said it would be very happy to increase its stake in Irish carrier Aer Lingus (LON:AERL).
“Dublin is a strong, profitable route for us and we're very keen to strengthen our partnership there,” said chief executive of Etihad James Hogan in a phone interview with Bloomberg.
Hogan said he would be “very happy to have that discussion” with Ryanair.
Back in June, Ryanair made its third attempt to acquire the remaining interest in Aer Lingus, which was subsequently rejected by the board.
It said at that time that if Etihad bought the government’s stake, it would negotiate the sale of its interest in the airline.
The government had previously opposed a Ryanair takeover on competition grounds, but has now put its stake up for sale as part of its bailout agreement with the EU.