IAG share price: CEO sees opportunities for Aer Lingus in Asia

on Jun 2, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

International Consolidated Airlines Group’s (LON:IAG) chief executive sees opportunities for Aer Lingus (LON:AERL) in Asia, the Irish Independent has reported. The comments come after the British Airways and Iberia owner passed a major hurdle on its way to acquire the Irish airline with Dublin last week agreeing to sell its 25.1-percent stake in the company.

IAG’s share price has advanced in afternoon trade, having added 1.71 percent to 563.50p as of 14:32 BST and outperforming the blue-chip FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.01 percent higher at 6,985.01 points. Aer Lingus’ share price is flat at €2.44.
The Irish Independent yesterday quoted IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh as saying that in addition to transatlantic routes, he saw opportunities for Aer Lingus in Asian destinations.
“You’d start with India, Japan and China,” Walsh said, adding that China in particular could be “a real opportunity” given Ireland’s trade links with Beijing.
“Our experience with BA in China is that it is a slow burn and takes a long time,” he pointed out.
The comments follow the Irish government’s decision to sell its stake in Aer Lingus to the British Airways and Iberia owner, after months of protracted negotiations, which were “a bit heated at times” and had come close to collapse, Walsh said. Dublin, however, approved the €1.36-billion (£962 million) deal last Tuesday, with Ireland’s parliament, the Dáil, voting in favour of the government’s decision later during the week.
IAG’s offer, however, remains contingent on the approval of Ryanair (LON:RYA), Aer Lingus’ biggest shareholder with a near 30-percent stake. The low-cost airline last week reiterated its stance that it would consider any offer “on its merits, if or when it is received”.
As of 09:00 BST, Tuesday, 02 June, International Consolidated Airlines Grp share price is 567.25p.

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