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Ryanair courts rivals to secure Aer Lingus: FT
LONDON (Reuters) - Ireland's Ryanair (RYA.I) has asked at least six airlines to operate alternative services on some Aer Lingus (AERL.I) routes, as it seeks regulatory approval for a $850 million takeover of its domestic rival, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Ryanair, which already owns 30 percent of Aer Lingus, could face opposition to the deal from the European Commission, due to risks over a substantial reduction in competition.
Budget airline Ryanair has asked rival airlines to consider providing competition on routes to and from Dublin where the two Irish carriers are the leading or only providers but some of the six have expressed limited or no interest in operating services to Ireland, the FT said.
It has approached Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), easyJet (EZJ.L), Etihad Airways, Flybe (FLYB.L), International Airlines Group (ICAG.L) and Virgin Atlantic VA.UL, the paper said.
The EC is expected to make a decision on the bid, Ryanair's third attempt to take over its Irish rival, by Wednesday.
(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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