viewAER Lingus Group plc

Etihad CEO 'very happy' to discuss Ryanair's Aer Lingus stake


Abu Dhabi headquartered airline Etihad Airways has said it would be very happy to increase its stake in Irish carrier Aer Lingus (LON:AERL).

Etihad currently owns a three percent stake in Aer Lingus, while Ryanair (LON:RYA) and the Irish government own stakes of 29.8 percent and 25 percent respectively.

“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.


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