AER RAGE; Ryanair to Appeal EU Blocking of Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: RORY TEVLIN BY news@irishmirror.ie

FURIOUS Ryanair said it will appeal an EU Commission decision to block its takeover of Aer Lingus.

The Commission told chiefs at the budget airline yesterday morning their offer for the former national carrier would be prohibited.

Ryanair has now vowed to take its case to the European courts after desperate attempts to get the Commission onside failed.

And it claimed it had done everything in its power to persuade Europe a takeover would not result in Ryanair running an air monopoly in Europe.

This is the third attempt Ryanair, headed up by Michael O'Leary, has made to land Aer Lingus after failing in 2007 and 2009.

It already holds a stake of nearly 30% in Aer Lingus.

Ryanair said it provided the EU Commission with commitments from two buyers to remove any anti-competition fears between Ryanair and Aer Lingus.

In a statement, Ryanair said that IAG and Flybe had both promised to take over parts of both airlines' London Gatwick operations and other UK and European routes.

The airline said both have agreed to come to Ireland to compete against a combined Ryanair and Aer Lingus.

Ryanair complained last night that it was being held to a higher standard than other European airlines. …