Aer Lingus Recommends Alliance with American Airlines and British Airways

Apr 29, 1999, 01:00 ET from Aer Lingus

    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
 to join.
     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,"
 Foley added.
     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