“It was a stupid investment.” A typically frank assessment then from Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary on the airline’s acquisition of a 29% stake in Irish rival Aer Lingus, reported in the Irish Independent following a press conference in Dublin yesterday.
Ryanair built up the stake to support two failed attempts to takeover Aer Lingus. After giving up on its second attempt to take over the carrier earlier this year, O’Leary described as an “optimistic assumption” that it would make a third move for the carrier. He reiterated this yesterday by describing such a move as “very unlikely”.
“It was a stupid investment,” he is reported as saying during yesterday’s media conference. “At the time, it was the right strategy to go for one combined airline but it [the investment] has now proven to be a disaster.”
Aer Lingus shares hit a low last month and ended trading yesterday at €0.76 on the Irish stock exchange.
For more on Aer Lingus, see for our recent article: What does the future hold for Aer Lingus?