Aer Lingus appoints new chief after board talks up IAG deal

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Kavanagh, who was most recently chief strategy and planning officer, has worked for the airline since 1988 and helped bring the company to the stock market in 2006.

His appointment comes as the Irish flag carrier is in negotiations over a proposed £1 billion takeover by British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG).

Aer Lingus’ board backed the IAG bid – its third attempt to win over the company – after discussions with the Irish goverment, which holds a 25% stake in the airline.


“The board has a greater understanding of IAG’s intentions… it is clearly in IAG’s interests to continue to grow Aer Lingus within the IAG Group,” Chairman Colm Barrington said in a statement on Friday.

“The board’s view is therefore that a combination of Aer Lingus with IAG has a compelling strategic rationale and will deliver significant benefits for Aer Lingus, its employees, its customers and for Ireland,” Barrington added.


The deal, which will give IAG more slots at Heathrow, must also go through Ryanair as it holds a 29% stake in the company, though it has been ordered by competition authorities to cut its holding.

Unions have raised concerns that the deal could lead to job losses at Aer Lingus, while other opponents have warned that routes to Irish destinations could be shelved under its potential new owners.

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February 16, 2015 |
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