Cheap flights carrier Ryanair yesterday (December 1st) launched a second bid for its smaller Irish rival Aer Lingus, according to reports.
The airline tabled an offer of £645 million plus a commitment to double Aer Lingus's short-haul fleet of aircraft to 66 - which would create 1,000 new jobs over the next five years.
It emerged today, however, that Aer Lingus had rejected the takeover offer - Ryanair's second in 18 months after the first was rejected by the European Commission.
Speaking to the Independent before the rejection, Michael Cawley, Ryanair deputy chief executive, said that the climate within the airline industry had "fundamentally changed" since last year.
"Consolidation in the industry has moved at a phenomenal pace, accelerated by the price of oil, and the best thing for Aer Lingus is to be with Ryanair in a strong national Irish champion."
Aer Lingus rejected the offer with claims that it has "significant cash reserves and a robust long-term future".
Ryanair this week questioned how Heathrow Airport could be given the 'Best UK Airport' award at the recent British Travel Awards.