Aer Lingus rejects further takeover bid

<p>Aer Lingus has rejected another bid from British Airways owner IAG.</p>

Irish carrier Aer Lingus has rejected a second takeover bid from British Airways owner IAG in the space of a month.

The company had seen a bid for the Irish airline turned down in December but had returned with an revised offer but this has also been rejected. IAG had put forward a takeover bid of €2.40 (£1.88) per share, an advance on the €2.30 offered during December. However, even the new bid was seen as undervaluing the business.

Aer Lingus' decision to reject the IAG bid meant it has turned down an opportunity to gain more take-off and landing slots at Heathrow Airport. The London airport is the airline's home base and it would have been able to operate more flights by accepting the IAG offer, but it has decided against the move.

Any deal to purchase Aer Lingus would require the approval of budget airline Ryanair. The low-cost carrier currently owns 29.9 per cent of the company and has previously tried to buy the airline itself. However, objection by the Irish government, which holds a 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus, has prevented Ryanair from doing so.

Aer Lingus was recently named among the top ten safest low-cost carriers. Research aviation website AirlineRatings.com collected data from 449 global airlines and determined the safety of airlines by a number of factors including governing body audits, airline incident records and government reports.

The Irish carrier was named alongside the likes of Alaska Airlines, Icelandair, Jetblue, Monarch Airlines, Thomas Cook and TUI Fly & Westjet as being some of the safest airlines around.

Commenting on the recognition, a spokesperson for Aer Lingus said: "Aer Lingus operates to the highest safety standards including stringent audits by the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit.

"We are pleased that Aer Lingus has been recognised for being at the forefront of safety innovation and operation excellence for almost eight decades."

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