British Airways’ parent company IAG has agreed to buy some of the Aer Lingus slots at London Heathrow from Ryanair if the low-cost airline’s takeover bid for Aer Lingus gets approval from Brussels. IAG has confirmed it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Ryanair that is subject to the go-ahead from the European Commission.
IAG has agreed British Airways would operate the routes between the UK and Ireland for three to five years and would then have the option of switching the slots to other routes.
The deal is part of a series of actions promised by Ryanair in its efforts to persuade the European Commission that it should be allowed to take control of Aer Lingus. Last month the EC indicated it would deny the €694 million bid when it referred it for detailed examination. It rejected Ryanair’s previous bid for Aer Lingus in 2007, claiming it would harm competition.