Labour sources have confirmed the party still has significant concerns about the potential sale of Aer Lingus to IAG.

This follows an article in this morning's Sunday Business Post, in which former Labour minister Pat Rabbitte backed the sale.

Mr Rabbitte had previously expressed concern on the matter, however, he said he had been convinced by IAG that their takeover of the airline is in the national interest, following the appearance of its CEO, Willie Walsh, before the Oireachtas Transport Committee.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week Mr Rabbitte said another offer like IAG's is unlikely to emerge again and if the Government passes on this bid he would be concerned for the airline's future.

Mr Rabbitte denied the Government was concerned that both coalition parties could take a hit in electoral support if it sold Aer Lingus.

He said Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe had an interdepartmental group to take evidence from all quarters to ensure he had the best advice available to him.  

However, a Labour spokesperson said the party is waiting for the report of an inter-departmental group examining the implications of the sale but, that as of now, a sufficient case has not been made out.

Meanwhile, union sources at Aer Lingus have taken issue with comments made by the head of the airline's Central Representative Council Myles Worth on RTÉ’s This Week.

Mr Worth said he believed staff members at the airline were broadly supportive if IAG's proposed takeover bid.

A senior SIPTU source said the union had not yet reached a decision on the issue. He said further clarification was required on how IAG would develop Aer Lingus as well as the implications for connectivity, direct employment and the quality of employment.

He said they would also need clarity about how any commitments on those issues would be legally underpinned.

Other unions have also described Mr Worth's claims of employee support for the sale as premature, with a number of sources warning they would be disassociating themselves from the remarks.