BRUSSELS Feb 4 Ryanair has offered rival Flybe
100 million euros ($136 million) to take some Aer Lingus routes
off its hands, a source close to the deal said on Monday, as the
European Commission prepares to decide on its 694-million-euro
offer for the Irish airline.
Ryanair's latest concession to regulators follows EU
Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia's comments to Reuters
last week that Europe's top low-cost carrier has one more chance
to convince him of the merits of the Aer Lingus deal.
Ryanair, which is making its third takeover attempt
of Aer Lingus, needs to make concessions that would retain
healthy competition in air transport from to and from Ireland.
"The 100 million euros is tied to Flybe's performance. If it
over performs, Flybe will pay back Ryanair," the source said,
adding Ryanair has also offered nine planes to Flybe.
Flybe is a low-cost regional airline group operating over
180 routes to 65 European airports and is Europe's largest
The source said Ryanair has also offered Gatwick slots to
British Airways on top of Aer Lingus' Heathrow slots.
Last month, a source told Reuters that Ryanair's offer to
the Commission included ceding 43 routes to Flybe and three of
Aer Lingus' Heathrow routes to British Airways.
The EU antitrust authority asked rivals and interested
parties on Monday for feedback on Ryanair's latest concessions,
the source said. They have until Thursday to reply.
The Commission has set a March 6 deadline for its decision.