O’Leary strikes again

O‘Leary, although predicting losses for the second half of the year makes a lower bid.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost airline, on Monday offered to buy Irish rival Aer Lingus for €750m ($970.4m), or just half the price of its bid in 2006 which was blocked by the European Union.

Why should it not be blocked again? Aer Lingus’s, first reaction is keenly awaited. The unions have no doubt.

The initiative was “doubtless” designed to coincide with a dispute in Aer Lingus. “However workers and management in Aer Lingus have managed to formulate a proposal to save the airline, frustrate Ryanair’s monopoly ambitions, continue to promote choice to in the Irish airline industry and maintain some semblance of civilised working conditions.”

I heard an analyst say this morning that EU and the Irish government wouldn’t tolerate an Irish airline monopoly. So what’s the difference between Ryanair/Aer Lingus and the merged Air France/KLM and Lufthansa/Swiss?

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London