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Tourism group backs Lingus sale
31 Jan 2015 09:09
A tourism group has given cautious backing to a sale of Aer Lingus saying it would strengthen the airline.
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The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation said it would provide the country with a global one carrier network.
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The organisation said that a deal would strengthen Aer Lingus' position within a global group at a time of consolidation in the industry.
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Earlier, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said any decision the Coalition makes on the sale of Aer Lingus would be based on the national interest.
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He said there was a keen awareness of the importance of regional connectivity and that this would be one of the aspects that would inform the Government decision.
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Mr Bruton dismissed speculation that there was a split between the Government parties.
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He said the Cabinet was determined to come to a position on Aer Lingus in the best interests of all stakeholders.
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Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said as he is the shareholder on behalf of the State he is precluded from making comment when the issue is in an "offer period".
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However, he reiterated that the Government's position on any sale will be taken in the national interest, taking issues such as connectivity, investment and jobs into account.
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The comments come a day after Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe insisted that access and jobs would be core considerations in deciding whether the Government sells its 25.1% share in the airline.
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Mr Donohoe said any decision made on the future of Aer Lingus would have political consequences.
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He acknowledged that the retention of slots at Heathrow Airport had to be considered.
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