The pride of Irish aviation, former flag carrier Aer Lingus, ends in the hands of the International Airlines Group (IAG) – holding company of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. On 15 July 2015 European authorities put the lights on green for the merger, with strings attached.
For the deal worth about 1,5 billion euro to go through, IAG has to give up five start and landing rights at London-Gatwick that will enable competitors to fly back and from Ireland. Moreover the IAG is ordered to continue connection flights to other London airports and Amsterdam-Schiphol, even if it aids competitors of British Airways. Shareholders Ryanair (29%) and the Irish government (25%) already gave up their part of Aer Lingus.
Aer Lingus – with its flights having the callsign Shamrock – was founded in 1936. It has 48 aircraft and flies to 70 destinations, mainly from Dublin, Belfast-City, London-Heathrow, Cork and Shannon. Aer Lingus came into the jet age in 1965, when it start flying the BAC One-Eleven. Ryanair has been trying to take over the Irish flag carrier ever since 2006, with Aer Lingus deeper into economic trouble when the global financial crisis hit in 2008.
The Irish airline flies a sole Airbus fleet, with even nine new Airbus A350-900 XWBs on order for delivery between 2018 and 2020.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: Aer Lingus Airbus A320 Fearghal wih registration EI-DEC taking off from Berlin-Schönefeld, Germany, on 31 May 2008 (Image © Marcel Burger)