6-Mar-2012 1:45 PM

Etihad Airways interested in Irish Government’s stake in Aer Lingus: report

Etihad Airways is reportedly interested in acquiring the Irish Government’s 25.1% ownership stake in Aer Lingus, according to Gulf News reports. The deal is reportedly provisional on the Irish Government underwriting Aer Lingus’ EUR300 million pension deficit via a bond issue through Ireland's National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). Ryanair already controls 29.4% of Aer Lingus. Etihad Airways had no official comment on any prospective deal with Aer Lingus, although CEO James Hogan confirmed in an earlier interview with Bloomberg the carrier has looked at taking a stake in Aer Lingus, even though the “pension issues” would have to be evaluated.