Ireland is canvassing European authorities for their initial views on the proposed sale of Aer Lingus to airline group IAG, according to reports.
Discussions between Ireland and IAG have continued since the Government, which controls a 25% stake in Aer Lingus, rejected its indicative bid in February.
Bloomberg, citing someone with knowledge of the matter, reports that IAG is offering a seven year guarantee to maintain routes between Ireland and London.
“In the context of its continued engagement with IAG on these issues there has been contact with the European Commission in light of their potential role in relation to any proposal,” the Department of Transport said in a response to questions.
“At this point no deal has been agreed.”
IAG needed to guarantee to keep routes between Ireland and London for longer than the five years it first proposed, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe has previously said.
The Cabinet will probably consider the IAG proposal the week starting 25 May, Bloomberg’s source said.
Mr Donohoe has not yet received a final report from officials discussing a possible deal with IAG, he told reporters in Dublin yesterday. IAG has agreed to give Ireland a veto over the sale of Aer Lingus slots at Heathrow.
While an official EU review would not take place until IAG filed a formal offer, the Government wants to ensure guarantees will not give rise to antitrust issues, the person said.
IAG is bidding €2.50 a share plus a 5c cash dividend.
IAG declined to comment, as did the European Commission.