Ryanair has confirmed it will make a bid for the five slot pairs at London Gatwick that will become available after the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus is complete.
The European Commission (EC) gave the green light to the deal this week, with the proviso that Aer Lingus must relinquish five landing and takeoff slots at Gatwick in order to increase competition.
The EC will oversee the sale of the vacant slots, two of which must be operated between Dublin and Gatwick and one between Belfast and Gatwick. Ryanair pulled out of Belfast Airport in 2010.
Speaking in Brussels on Wednesday, Michael O'Leary said that Ryanair "will certainly be bidding for the slots and we would certainly want to expand services we offer at Gatwick”.
Aer Lingus hold its EGM this week to approve the €1.36 billion takeover by IAG. With the Government, Ryanair and most recently the European Commission already signed off on the deal, the ownership could change hands as soon as next month.