According to the Huffington Post, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has been attempting to take over Aer Lingus, a competing Irish airline, since 2006. He's trying again, for the third time, and regulators are meeting on Tuesday to discuss Ryanair's newest takeover bid, which was offered last week. Ryanair offered to buy their competitor's shares at 1.30 a piece, and Aer Lingus dismissed the offer as too low a price.
Aer Lingus currently has flight routes to Chichago, Boston, and New York, which would mean that Ryanair would open a new market. Moreover, The Telegraph reports that according to investment banker Gert Zonneveld, taking over Aer Lingus would allow O'Leary to "dabble in the long-haul business." He continued, "From that point of view, Aer Lingus is a very interesting proposition."
O'Leary -- who the Huffington Post describes as "often-outspoken" and The Telegraph describes as "flamboyant" -- has made no secret of the fact that he hopes to over cheap transatlantic flights. In fact, the website says that he "has hinted that he would love to 'spark a revolution' in transatlantic travel by offering seats for as little as $13"
The Ryanair head told the Associated Press that he sees the merger as "a significant opportunity to combine Aer Lingus with Ryanair, to form one strong Irish airline group capable of competing with Europe's other major airline groups led by Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa." Yet, others may not agree. A U.K. transportation spokesperson told the Press Association, "The existence of Ryanair and Aer Lingus as separate competing entities has transformed our tourism and business connectivity. Any material change to the separate status of these airlines would inevitably lead to reduced competition, increased fares and less choice."