International Airline Group (IAG) will consider options, including Aer Lingus codeshare and accepting customers originating from Shannon that could enhance the existing all-business British Airways two daily service from Heathrow to JFK via Shannon, Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe said in the Dáil this morning Wednesday.
In opening the debate on the proposed sale of the Government’s 25% stake in Aer Lingus, Minister Donohoe said the airline’s Shannon flights to Boston and New York are expected to be strengthened as a result of the company becoming part of the North Atlantic Joint Business.
“Aer Lingus support for existing American Airlines flights to Philadelphia will provide opportunities for additional capacity and increased connectivity to the US,” he said.
According to Ministe Donohoe, “The financial advisers have considered a range of different valuation methodologies which they consider to be relevant. The [Inter-depertmental]Steering Group has concluded that a price of €2.50 is acceptable. The Dáil is being asked to approve in principle the disposal of the shares for a cash payment of at least €2.50 per share payable upon completion of the transaction.”
The proposed offer also refers to the payment by Aer Lingus of a cash dividend of 5 cent per share. This dividend will be paid on May 29, 2015 to Aer Lingus shareholders who are on Aer Lingus’ share register on 1 May 2015 and is payable irrespective of whether the proposed IAG offer proceeds or not.
“Price has been an important but not exclusive consideration in the State’s evaluation of this proposal. A price of €2.50 per share would generate proceeds for the State of about €335 million,” the minister said