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Ireland's parliament clears Aer Lingus stake sale

Dublin airport Image copyright PA

The Republic of Ireland's parliament has approved the sale of its Aer Lingus stake to British Airways owner, IAG.

Irish lawmakers voted by 74 votes to 51 in favour of the deal.

Some MPs had expressed concern about the sale of the 25% stake, fearing that services between Irish airports and London's Heathrow could be cut.

However, on Tuesday, after months of negotiation, the government and IAG announced an agreement under which IAG promised to maintain routes.

Under the deal, IAG agreed to a legally binding commitment to maintain current services between Heathrow and Dublin, Cork and Shannon for at least seven years.

Also, Aer Lingus will operate its international passenger services under the Aer Lingus brand and its head office will remain in the Republic of Ireland.

In order to take complete control of Aer Lingus, IAG still needs to reach an agreement with the remaining big shareholder, Ryanair.

Ryanair, which holds a 29.8% stake, says it will consider a bid when it receives a formal offer.

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