Aer lingus launch first ever non-Irish route (Madrid-Washington)

Aer Lingus have announced a new route between Madrid and Washington DC which will commence in March 2010.

The route will be operated in partnership with United Airlines with whom Aer Lingus already operate code-share routes between the USA and Ireland since October 2008.

Aer Lingus also hinted that the pertnership with United Airlines may “may develop into a ‘broader and deeper’ joint venture”.

Tickets will be on sale in about 6 weeks and recruitment will be exclusively in the USA.


Irish Government rejects Ryanair bid for Aer Lingus

The Irish Government has decided not to sell its 25%  stake in Aer Lingus to Ryanair at the offer price of €1.40 per share,  Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey announced this afternoon.

The Minister said the decision was taken on the basis that the offer greatly undervalues the former national airline  and that the proposed mergerwould be likely to have a significant negative impact on competition in the aviation market.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has ruled out any significant upward adjustment in its €1.40 a share offer for Aer Lingus which is approaching its January 30th deadline.

Ryanair said it will only raise its €748 million cash offer if a substantial number of Aer Lingus owners say they would be willing to accept a higher offer.

Aerlingus to cut 1500 jobs, close Shannon and heathrow bases

Up to 1,500 jobs are to be lost at Aer Lingus in a dramatic new cost-cutting plan.

The plan, which includes outsourcing of the airline’s entire ground operation, was announced in a meeting with union representatives at Dublin Airport this afternoon.

The company’s bases at Shannon and Heathrow will be closed with staff being redeployed to Dublin or Cork airport, or made redundant.

The measures, which aim to save at least €74m a year, are due to come into affect from the first of December this year.