Ryanair to Drop Crossover Routes

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(Bloomberg) - Ryanair Holdings Plc. could exit all 46 routes from Dublin that overlap with Aer Lingus Group Plc. to help win approval for a takeover bid and said it's talking with more than 10 carriers about selling or leasing the slots.

"We have really revolutionary, radical remedies, so we think it should be and will be approved," Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary said today in London. A similar bid from Ryanair was blocked by the European Commission five years ago.

Ryanair has also been approached by groups bidding for BAA Ltd.'s London Stansted airport, the carrier's biggest base, after indicating it might be prepared to take a stake of as much as 24.99 percent, O'Leary said at a press conference.

European Union regulators last month began a full probe of Ryanair's 694 million-euro ($873 million) bid for Aer Lingus, in which it already has a 29.8 percent stake. An initial examination showed the two airlines were direct rivals on a large number of European routes, the EC said Aug. 29.

Ryanair, Europe's biggest discount airline, would withdraw Aer Lingus planes from the Dublin-London Heathrow route, freeing up room for network operators such as Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. …