The airline cut prices on half a million seats, including 30 percent off flights to Glasgow.
But Ryanair called the Aer Lingus sale “pathetic” and responded by offering one million seats at half price.
“Customers continuously tell us they want cheaper airfares and value for money,” said Aer Lingus corporate affairs manager Dan Loughry. “Our strategy now is to cut our costs and increase the number of customers flying with us. This is working. So far this year we have carried 3.5 million passengers on low fares.”
“This is a pathetic move by Aer Lingus and we are not at all worried,” said Ryanair commercial director Micheal Cawley.
He added Ryanair has seat sales every day, while Aer Lingus only announces them occasionally.
Consumers’ Association of Ireland chief Dermott Jewell welcomed the price war and said it was what hard-pressed consumers want.
“It’s real competition coming into play and it’s been needed for a long time. It’s about time Aer Lingus got into the fray,” he said.
Still, Jewell criticized both airlines for engaging in misleading ticket pricing and warned consumers to be aware of the hidden extras such as taxes, insurance and credit card handling charges.
“There is an extraordinary amount of small print. Basically, it not only confuses consumers about what is on offer, it also misleads them about the actual price,” Jewell said. Aer Lingus discount flight offers do not include taxes and charges.
OF TAKEOVER TALKS
The educational software publisher Riverdeep is talking with its chairman and CEO Barry O’Callaghan about a possible bid for the company.
Davy Corporate Finance Ltd. and Credit Suisse First Boston have been appointed as financial advisers.
The news fueled a sharp rise in Riverdeep shares. which had climbed to