Turkish flag carrier Turkish Airlines may be a potential bidder for Aer Lingus, just days after rival Irish airline Ryanair made a surprise buyout bid.
Turkish Airlines is assessing Ireland's 75-year-old former
flag carrier and is "very interested" according to sources.
It is one of several international airlines looking at Aer
Lingus, according to the report. Abu Dhabi's Etihad, which already owns a 3
percent stake, has long been cited in the media as a possible bidder for the
government's 25 percent stake.
Turkish Airlines, which could only hold a 49 percent stake
in Aer Lingus because it is based outside the European Union, could buy the
government's stake or form a partnership with another airline, said the
Both Turkish Airlines and Etihad view Dublin as a
potential hub through which passengers could be routed to the Far East and
beyond, according to the report.
Aer Lingus declined to comment on the report. A spokesman
at Turkish Airlines was not immediately available for comment.
Ryanair, which is the largest shareholder in Aer Lingus, launched
its third bid to take over its rival on Tuesday, saying it would offer 1.30
euros per share to secure at least 50 percent of the carrier.
The bid, which values Aer Lingus at 694 million euros
($880 million), would be subject to the approval of the European Commission,
which in 2007 blocked an earlier bid by Ryanair for Aer Lingus on competition
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