International Airlines Group (IAG), the company that owns British Airways, could be a step closer to acquiring Aer Lingus, according to reports.
The Irish Government is expected to make an announcement later today that will confirm whether it plans to sell its 25% stake in Air Lingus.
According to reports in the Financial Times, the Government no longer regards its stake as a ‘strategic asset’ and is considering selling it to ‘reduce the country’s budget deficit’.
Ryanair plans to sell its 29.8% shareholding, despite its two previous attempts to take over Irish carrier, which were blocked by competition authorities in Europe.
Aviation analysts tipped IAG as the most plausible buyer for Aer Lingus due to Irish carrier’s valuable take-off and landing slots at Heathrow.
IAG recently revealed that premium traffic on BA and Iberia rose by 8.7% in August, compared with last year.