EU review of Ryanair/Aer Lingus deal extended by a week

Wednesday 23 January 2013 16.33
The EU review of a proposed Ryanair-Aer Lingus deal has been extended to March
The EU review of a proposed Ryanair-Aer Lingus deal has been extended to March

EU competition regulators have extended their review of the latest bid by Ryanair to acquire Aer Lingus until 6 March.

The move comes after the airline offered additional concessions to allay competition concerns.

The one-week extension from 27 February was published on the European Commission's website today without any details, in line with EU policy.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said yesterday he was confident of gaining EU approval for the €694m deal.

The airline's latest offer to the commission included ceding 43 routes to Flybe and three Aer Lingus Heathrow routes to British Airways, a person familiar with the matter has told Reuters.

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, announced 300 job cuts or about 10% of its workforce, earlier today.

This may weaken its case as a buyer of Aer Lingus routes, a source involved in the Ryanair and Aer Lingus deal said.