The issue is that if Aer Lingus isn't capable to control it's own costs and plan ahead , then the likelihood of being taken over and hence remain non independent is more likely to occur. Aer Lingus biggest rival is Ryanair, which has already placed two bids for Aer Lingus over the past years. Ryanair first bid €2.80 a share for Aer Lingus in October 2006, valuing the company at €1.48bn. That takeover was blocked by the European Commission on competition grounds. A second bid worth half that of the first in December last year also failed after the Irish government, which has a 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus, said it undervalued the airline.
Aer Lingus this year reported a pre-tax loss of €119.7m and analysts say a failure to cut costs could jeopardise its independence.