The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has voiced concerns regarding the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by IAG.
Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA said, “We would have some reservations with regard to the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by IAG. It is crucial that the existing slots between Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Heathrow Airport are protected and maintained. We realise that a long term agreement to this effect may be difficult to secure, but everything that can be done should be done now”.
Mr Dawson continued, “The ITAA would see value for money and greater choice for Irish consumers as being a vital part of the negotiations and central to any agreement reached. It is our opinion that the Aer Lingus brand and all that it encompasses is worth more than the €1.35 billion currently proposed. Aer Lingus is a worldwide brand viewed by many as providing a friendly and safe service both at home and abroad.
“We would urge the Government to impose, as best they can, strict stipulations that protect Irish consumers, Irish airports and Irish jobs. Aer Lingus is an Irish institution and its importance to the Irish travel industry and the Irish travelling public can’t be overstated. Despite these reservations, we understand that a strategic alliance would be worthwhile in the long run for a medium sized airline such as Aer Lingus”