12-Mar-2012 6:14 PM

Irish Transport Minister not aware of Aer Lingus talks with JetBlue Airways regarding stake sale

Ireland's Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar stated he is not aware of any plan to sell the Government's stake in Aer Lingus to JetBlue Airways. Mr Varadkar, as quoted by RTE, also said he did not think JetBlue would have the available cash to acquire a stake in Aer Lingus. The comments follow reports by The Irish Times, that Aer Lingus had held talks with JetBlue Airways regarding the possible purchase of a stake in the carrier. The reports stated JetBlue, which entered into a sales agreement with Aer Lingus in Apr-2008, was Aer Lingus management’s preferred trade investor. Mr Varadkar previously indicated the Government, which has a 25% stake in the airline, would seek at least EUR1 per share for its holding. Separately, Aer Lingus is believed to be in discussions with Middle East airline Etihad Airways about a commercial partnership. Meanwhile, Aer Lingus said around 100 passengers per day are connecting between the two airlines and the total number would “fill JetBlue for one day of the year”. 

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