12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
International Airlines Group (IAG) could return with an improved offer for Irish carrier Aer Lingus, according to an aviation analyst.
According to The Times, HSBC’s equity research head of transport, Andrew Lobbenberg, said that a “deal makes sense” and “while complicated is achievable”.
“We see the logic of a combination between IAG and Aer Lingus,” he said.
Lobbenberg’s comments follow a bid placed in December by British Airway’s parent company IAG to Aer Lingus, which was believed to be around €1.15 billion, or €2.20 a share. The bid was rejected by the board of the Irish carrier.
One of the main attractions of the deal for IAG is Aer Lingus’ valuable take-off and landing slots at British Airways’ main base at Heathrow. The Irish carrier is the third largest airline at the airport.
A deal would require the approval of Ryanair, which owns a 29.8 per cent stake in Aer Lingus, the Irish government, which has a 25 per cent stake, and the European Commission.
Lobbenberg added: “We would not see this as a challenge. IAG evidently is interested in buying and we think Ryanair is ready to monetise its Aer Lingus holding.”
The report comes as Aer Lingus published it annual traffic results in which it saw passenger numbers rise by 3.2 per cent year-on-year. However, in the month of December traffic dropped by 705,000 due to an 8.2 per cent fall in short-haul numbers to 517,000 compared to the same period in 2013.