O’Leary to go law over Aer Lingus Belfast switch?

Hmmm… curiouser and curiouser… It seems Ryanair are powerless to call an EGM without Irish Government support, so now are talking about resorting to law. Hmmm… so that 25.1% stake (retained by the state to protect key interests including landing slots at London Heathrow), what was that all about then?

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  • Bob Wilson

    Are Aer Lingus surrendered slots at Heathrow – I dont think so – they are trying to maximise the company profits for all the shareholders!


    Mick – disappointed to see you buying in so readily to the analysis of the Shannon lobby.

    The 25% interest is retained to protect strategic interests. In this case, isn’t allowing a commercial airline make a commercial decision in the strategic interest of the country? Isn’t building the economic capacity of the North in the strategic interest of the country?

    On balance, I don’t think making the businessmen of Shannon take the Gatwick Express into London instead of the Heathrow Express is enough to tip the balance in favour of intervening.

    I suspect that Ryanair’s involvement is just about protecting the Shannon revenues from Aer Lingus so that the airport can continue to subsidise Ryanair to the extent it currently does.

  • Oiliféar

    URQUHART, bang on – the govt. is thinking bigger than Shannon. Why else that hoopla at Stormont when it was announced?

    Ryanair on the other hand are easier to read – they just want to head f*ck the competition.

  • Mick Fealty


    I agree with that veiw, in this particular instance. But it’s also clear that the state has two burdens to carry: the strategic interest of the country and the commercial interests of the company.

    You might take the view that in a business friendly economy, they should never clash. But if they do, how is the government to negotiate this particular ‘moral hazard’?

  • merrie

    >> what was that all about then

    Protecting the poor consumer/traveller from the likes of Ryanair perhaps?

    When I travelled by plane I did not fly Ryanair because of the way it treats its employees.


    Mick, they do indeed sometimes clash, but my point is that in this case there are two very strong strategic reasons for staying out – protecting commercial independence and economic development in the North.

    There is one, not-so-strong strategic reason for interfering – maintaining a heathrow slot for Shannon. Given that there is a Heathrow -Cork service and no shortage of Shannon-Gatwick / Stanstead services, the balance is tilted overwhelmingly in favour of leaving it well alone.

  • What an interesting debate we have here! As a Clareman I would like to make a few points:

    1- Aer Lingus have flown Shannon International to London Heathrow daily for almost 50 Years and the route is profitable.

    2- Aer Lingus carried around 340,000 people on this route last year.

    3- After 13th January 2008 Shannon International will have no service to London Heathrow.

    4- 25% of Aer Lingus customers using this route connect at London Heathrow for long haul flights worldwide.

    5- People in the mid-west of Ireland need an air link to London Heathrow, the worlds busiest airport.

    In my opinion the withdrawal of this important service will have a negative impact on the region and consequently it is fair to say that this is not about a bunch of whingers in the West of Ireland.

    The majority of people in the Mid-West of Ireland are delighted with Dermot Mannions decision on 07 AUGUST 2007 to invest one hundred and fifty million euros of Aer Lingus money on Belfast International. This is much needed investment and I’m sure the majority of the population in the Republic of Ireland welcome this development.

    However the news is bittersweet indeed for the Mid-West when the trade off is Shannon International losing its air link to London Heathrow.

    The island of Ireland needs to prosper north and south. The people in the Shannon region deserve better.

  • Aquifer

    ‘talking about going to law’ is cheaper than paying the lawyers to actually do it, free PR for whingers. Lets give our lawyer friends a break and report stuff when it ever gets to court.

  • Mick – Bertie would have given his left bollock for that photo-op with Paisley holding an Aer Lingus A330. Shannon slots were cheap in comparison.

    32 county uber alles.