Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has accused British Airways (BA) Chief Executive Willie Walsh and two other former executive directors of Aer Lingus, of wanting "to steal the assets of the airline."
|BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh|
Ahern made the comments in the Dáil this morning during leaders' questions. He was responding to a question about the privatisation of Aer Lingus by Labour leader Pat Rabbitte.
Besides former Aer Lingus Chief Executive Willie Walsh who took the reins at BA last October, the Taoiseach's charges were directed at two former directors Seamus Kearney and Brian Dunne. The three executives had proposed a management buyout of the airline in 2004. The proposal was made at a time when the Government could not agree on the future of Aer Lingus.
In the Dáil, Ahern said that Walsh and his senior colleagues, wanted to steal the airline's assets and shaft the interests of the staff. He added that he was glad the individuals involved proved their worth in the financial markets. But not, he said, at the expense of taking the assets away from Aer Lingus.
The planned floatation of Aer Lingus, which was due to take place in June, is expected to be deferred to the autumn because of the current uncertainty in global markets, in particular the trends in energy prices.