EU to block latest Ryanair bid for Aer Lingus

The latest bid by Ryanair to take over Aer Lingus is being blocked by the European Union (EU).

The low fares airline says it was told during a 'state of play' meeting with the European Commission that its approach will be prohibited.

Ryanair says the decisions being made despite it meeting every competition concern raised by the EU.

The airline says it has now instructed its lawyers to appeal any prohibition decision to the European Courts.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said "It appears clear from this morning’s meeting, that no matter what remedies Ryanair offered, we were not going to get a fair hearing and were going to be prohibited regardless of competition rules".

"Given Ryanair’s remedies package clearly addresses every issue raised in the EU’s Statement of Objections, any decision to prohibit would be manifestly unfair and in contravention of EU competition rules".

"Decision is clearly a political one"

"Ryanair has no alternative but to appeal any prohibition decision and we expect to get a fair hearing at the European Courts, as we haven't received one from Commissioner Almunia and his case team".

"This decision is clearly a political one to meet the narrow, vested interests of the Irish Government and is not based on competition law" he added.

Ryanair had offered to eliminate all competitive overlapping routes between the two carriers.

It says airline group IAG had committed to take over Ryanair’s and Aer Lingus’ entire London-Gatwick operations, and Flybe had also committed to take over 43 Aer Lingus UK and European routes.

Newstalk's Business Editor Ian Guider told Lunchtime that Ryanair will have a tough fight on its hands.