The Week: City News - Aer Lingus rejects new bid

Aer Lingus has rejected a £619 million bid from its rival Ryanair and has recommended that shareholders turn down the offer.

The move comes two years after a previous bid was rejected by the European Union on competition grounds. The budget airline, which already owns 29.8 per cent of Aer Lingus, said that it would continue to operate separate brands but that the merged company could better compete with rivals such as British Airways and Air France. Ryanair argued that higher oil prices and the recession have changed the airline industry since its last bid was opposed.