Ryanair is in the process of trying to convince the European Commission that a €694 million takeover of Aer Lingus would not lead to a monopoly of the Irish airline market.
The acquisition of Aer Lingus has long been seen as a personal ambition of O’Leary’s, topping his transformation of a one-plane airline in 1985, into one of Europe’s largest with over 300.
Aer Lingus currently operates 45 aircraft.
The deal would see Flybe taking charge of 43 Ryanair routes, and the newly created Flybe Ireland would operate from bases in Dublin and Cork.
Thousands of passengers each day make use of air travel between major airports in Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Sligo and Waterford, and onwards to the UK and beyond.
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