Ryanair has offered to surrender half of the Aer Lingus short-haul business as it seeks European Union approval to buy its Irish rival, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Ryanair submitted its latest concessions to the European Commission last week and they were sent to competitors and customers for comments on 21st January, said two people who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Some 43 routes would go to Flybe, with British Airways taking three routes using London Heathrow.
Michael O’Leary said that the company was “trying to tweak” earlier proposals to address regulators’ competition concerns over Ryanair’s €694 million bid for Aer Lingus. He expects a positive decision from the EU by the end of next month, he said in an interview in Rome.
Ryanair has said it could exit all 46 Dublin routes that overlap with Aer Lingus and that several rival carriers are interested in competing at Irish airports. IAG in December signed a non-binding agreement to buy landing slots at Heathrow airport from Ryanair if it completes the planned takeover.
The European Commission has a 27th February deadline to rule on the deal.