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Irish government agrees to sell Aer Lingus stake
International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, has actively bidding for the Irish government's share in Aer Lingus — and Ireland announced on Tuesday that they were selling their stake.
In order to purchase the government's 25% stake for more than $1.5 billion, IAG agreed to several promises. The company would keep Aer Lingus as a brand separate, similar to its situation with British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling. Also, its Heathrow slots would continue to be used on flights to Ireland. In a statement, IAG said that they would expand flights from multiple Irish airports, including Dublin, Cork, and Shannon.
Parliament and shareholders will still need to approve the deal, and a vote is scheduled in Parliament on Wednesday. Competition authorities will also need to approve in a process that could take several months. If the buyout is completed, Aer Lingus would join Oneworld.
The next step in the process would be to purchase Ryanair's share in the airline, which is an almost 30% stake. The low cost airline has tried to buy Aer Lingus several times in the past but failed in each attempt.
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