British Airways could be poised to make a takeover bid for Aer Lingus.
The move would result in BA CEO Willie Walsh, who left Aer Lingus in 2005, once again at the helm of the Irish airline.
The newly formed International Airlines Group (IAG), a merger of British Airways and Iberia, may launch the bid, analysts have predicted.
Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’ current chief executive, has indicated that the airline is considering several options and had not ruled out a majority takeover from a larger airline, according to the Herald.
Ryanair, which owns a 29pc stake in Aer Lingus, has made two takeover attempts of the former state carrier, but was blocked by competition regulators and the government. The government had indicated that it would only sell its 25pc stake in Aer Lingus once there is no danger Ryanair will take advantage.
Mueller also said that Aer Lingus could consider a plan involving further expansion. He told Aviation Week that the company would receive four Airbus A320s this year and phase out four older ones at the same time.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore