Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley TD, has said the decision of the Government to reject Ryanair’s bid for a 25% share in Aer Lingus was the right move for Irish aviation. However, Deputy Dooley criticised Minister Leo Varadkar for delaying the decision for so long, with Ryanair making their third bid for Aer Lingus in June.

“When Ryanair’s bid for Aer Lingus was launched in June, I said at the time that the takeover would reduce the competitiveness of the Irish aviation sector,” said Deputy Dooley.

“The existence of both airlines as separate competing entities has transformed our tourism and business connectivity. Any change to this status would result in reduced competition, increased fares and less choice for Irish and international customers.

“Ryanair has been a positive development in the Irish airline industry and has transformed the way we travel by air. However, if there was a takeover of Aer Lingus there would be huge issues regarding competition law. 

“Why has it taken Minister Varadkar six months to come to this decision? I would have thought it was immediately clear for competition purposes that you need to have at least two strong, independent airlines.

“Our exports and tourism sectors will be central to the recovery of the Irish economy. Competitive air access to key destinations including access to major transfer hubs is a vital piece of the jigsaw in facilitating business connections and tourist access. 

“Today’s rejection by the Government of Ryanair’s bid for a 25% share in Aer Lingus was the right move and any future bids should be resisted by Minister Varadkar.”