Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Timmy Dooley says the Government that it cannot continue to ignore warnings about the threat to Ireland’s connectivity by any potential deal with IAG. Virgin Atlantic has weighed in on the ongoing debate on the sale of the former State airline, claiming any deal would have an “adverse effect on ticket prices quality of service and connectivity”.
Deputy Dooley commented, “The concerns expressed by Virgin Atlantic reflect the issues raised by me and my party colleagues over the past few months. Simply put, this is a bad deal for Aer Lingus, its workers, and Ireland as a whole. Virgin warns that the IAG deal would create a monopoly in the market leading to higher prices and deteriorating service levels for customers; something which I have been arguing since the bid for Aer Lingus first emerged.
“The “assurances” put forward by IAG do nothing to allay my fears about the risk to connectivity and jobs at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports. As an island nation, it is particularly important that access to the UK, Europe and further afield is maintained and protected, but the current offer by IAG gives no tangible guarantees.
“Despite the seriousness of the implications of the sale of Aer Lingus, the Government has still not committed to retaining the State’s 25% stake in the airline. This latest intervention by one of the world’s leading aviation companies should sound alarm bells and reinforce the fact that the outright sale of Aer Lingus to IAG is not in the best interest of Irish air travellers or inbound tourists. Minister Paschal Donohoe cannot continue to kick the can down the road. He must move quickly to end the current climate of uncertainty by rejecting the IAG bid”.