"Ultimately, what we need is more entrants into the Irish aviation space, not consolidation among the two major airlines," Vaughan said.
Travel industry analyst Simon Calder said that wasn't necessarily true, because airlines across Europe have been merging into fewer, more powerful groups to survive recession and higher oil prices.
Calder said Ireland's argument over whether to keep two airlines "is a problem that most small European countries would love to have. Most have either one or no international airlines."
"The basic problem here is market domination," Calder said, noting that there's comparatively less competition already on Irish air routes versus their British counterparts. "Other airlines should be able to keep Ryanair honest. But the larger a market share that a single airline has, the more it can control fares."
Aer Lingus, http://bit.ly/Li9EGR
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