Virgin Atlantic has said it wants to ensure Irish customers will be protected from any acquisition of Aer Lingus by the International Airlines Group.

Director of Network and Alliances with the airline Joe Thompson, who was before the Oireachtas Transport Committee this morning, confirmed Virgin would not be participating in the transaction as a possible acquirer.

He said Virgin Atlantic is "agnostic" in relation to IAG's takeover of Aer Lingus and told the committee Virgin's sole interest was to ensure consumer interests were maintained.

Mr Thompson confirmed his airline would not become "a potential acquirer or partner" in a takeover bid.

He also said Virgin would be laying out similar arguments to those he posed today on behalf of the Irish consumer to the European Commission.