JetBlue CEO denies Aer Lingus acquisition report

Washington DC
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JetBlue chief executive Dave Barger denied the carrier has any interest in acquiring a stake in codeshare partner Aer Lingus one day after reports surfaced of a possible deal.

"I'm not sure where that came from," Barger told analysts at the JP Morgan aviation, transportation and defence conference. "We do not have any interest in doing that."

Barger adds that buying a 25% stake in the Ireland's flag carrier also does not fit into the carrier's business strategy.

"Our plan is really about organic growth," he says. "That [deal] is not part of our play book at this time."

Barger was forced to deny the rumour after the Irish Times reported on 12 March that the Irish government had selected JetBlue as the preferred bidder for the 25% stake in Aer Lingus, and that discussions were ongoing.

JetBlue has a relationship with Aer Lingus, with a one-way code-share agreement that connects the latter's passengers to 30 destinations in the US.

JetBlue has many such codeshare deals with both international and domestic airlines.