Aer Lingus's decision to open a base in Belfast and transfer its Shannon-London Heathrow service to Northern Ireland met with predictable opposition in the western part of the Republic as well as from Ryanair, which holds 25% of the flag carrier and has appealed to Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to maintain the status quo. The LCC, whose effort to acquire EI was rebuffed by the European Commission in June (ATWOnline, June 28), said the government's approval of the Belfast switch (ATWOnline, ...

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