DUBLIN, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Aer Lingus Board of Directors today
recommended to the Irish government that Aer Lingus enter an alliance with
American Airlines and British Airways, with a commitment that these airlines
sponsor Aer Lingus for membership in the oneworld alliance group.
In addition to American and British Airways, oneworld includes Canadian
Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific, with Finnair and Iberia Airlines poised
The Government will review the recommendation and, if accepted, will
authorize Aer Lingus to proceed with the strategic alliance.
Aer Lingus Group Chairman Bernie Cahill described this recommendation as the
one which the Board believes "will offer the best possible forward direction
for all the stakeholders in Aer Lingus." The airline is owned 95 percent by
the Irish government and 5 percent by Aer Lingus employees.
Group Chief Executive Gary Cullen said that membership in the oneworld
alliance would also deliver significant benefits to Aer Lingus customers and
the Irish economy as a whole through the provision of significantly improved
access. "In addition to the operational benefits brought by the successful
completion of this partnership, membership in oneworld will provide enhanced
travel options for customers and a seamless service for a growing customer
base," Cullen said.
Speaking from Aer Lingus headquarters in the U.S., Jack Foley, Executive
Vice President-North America, said the recommendation "is an important part of
Aer Lingus' strategic plan for growth. In North America alone, we have
experienced a 70 percent increase in capacity since 1995, including the
opening of three more gateways and increases in services throughout our
"Linking the Aer Lingus brand with two such globally recognized leaders as
American Airlines and British Airways validates our recent growth strategy,"
Pending approval of the recommendation, Aer Lingus will work with American
Airlines and British Airways to formalize alliance implementation.
In all, Aer Lingus offers more than 200 flights daily in the U.S., Ireland,
the U.K. and continental Europe. The carrier's North American headquarters is
located at 538 Broadhollow Rd., Melville, NY 11747.
SOURCE Aer Lingus