Etihad Airways has confirmed it would be “happy” to discuss the acquisition of the stake presently held by Ryanair in Irish flag-carrier Aer Lingus.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad took a 2.987 per cent stake in Aer Lingus in April.
Ryanair presently owns 29.82 per cent of Aer Lingus and is presently attempting a full take over of the carrier.
It has twice been rebuffed in the past.
An Etihad spokesperson said yesterday: “Etihad Airways is not in talks with Ryanair regarding its stake in Aer Lingus.
“However, as stated on several occasions, Dublin is a strong and profitable route for Etihad Airways and we are very keen to strengthen our partnership there.
“If approached by Ryanair we would be happy to have a discussion about the stake, and evaluate the opportunity as we would any other commercial proposition.”
The Irish government presently owns a quarter of Aer Lingus, with analysts suggesting it could be tempted to see as it seeks to meet bailout conditions from the IMF, EU and ECB.
Etihad is considered the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards.