The British Irish Chamber of Commerce says the Dublin-London route is the second-busiest in the world and the sale of Aer Lingus will unlock the potential for Dublin to become a European hub. The deal is good for business, for trade, for Dublin, and for Ireland, the Chamber adds.

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce director general John McGrane says the Government decision to sell its its 25% stake in Aer Lingus clears up the uncertainty surrounding the issue and business will welcome the decision to get on with the process. Pointing out that €1 billion of trade is carried out between the UK and Ireland every week, Mr McGrane says that the key point of any takeover deal is that the corridor of trade is kept open between the two countries. "This deal is good for business, for trade, for Dublin, and for Ireland," he states. 

MORNING BRIEFS -Business reaction has been largely positive to the Government's announcement it will support IAG's proposal to buy for Aer Lingus. Employers' group Ibec said IAG's plan to use Aer Lingus as a springboard for further growth on the key North Atlantic routes could significantly increase the number and frequency of routes to and from Ireland. 

*** The news about the Heathrow slots and more cross-Atlantic routes were welcomed by Chambers Ireland, and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce said IAG's intention to grow transfer traffic at Irish airports represents good news for Irish business travellers and consumers and would increase the likelihood of other airlines adding new routes or increasing capacity. 

*** Tourism Ireland said adding four transatlantic flights, and increasing the fleet by eight and carrying up to 2.4 million additional passengers by 2020, represents a huge boost for the tourism sector.

*** Failte Ireland said air access is the lifeblood of Irish tourism and the developments offer greater certainty regarding Aer Lingus' long term sustainability and the continued growth of our tourism industry.

*** The Irish Hotels Federation welcomed the additional guarantees secured by the Government from IAG saying the commitment in relation to the Heathrow slots is a significant development that will provide greater certainty for routes into Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports.

*** Stobart Air, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional services, also welcomed the Government's decision to support IAG's offer for Aer Lingus, saying it presents access to a whole new passenger base for the airline. 

*** The Shannon Group - of which the airport is a part - says the move is good news; a positive opportunity for Ireland, will safeguard Shannon Heathrow connectivity for seven years as well as opening the door to further growth at Shannon. 

*** Origin Enterprises has a trading update out this morning for the nine months to the end of April. It says agri services revenues grew by 9.4% year-on-year to €560.9m, mostly driven by foreign exchange. Underlying growth was 0.8%.