Aer Lingus has said that it remains optimistic about its upcoming privatisation despite an announcement that the open skies agreement between the US and the EU, scheduled for October, has been delayed.

The open skies plan would allow Aer Lingus to expand by flying to more US airports. The planned US expansion is part of the airline's growth strategy in the run-up to privatisation, which is scheduled for next month.

The chief executive of Aer Lingus Dermot Mannion said that Aer Lingus intended to grow capacity on its US routes as well as considering other new routes.

Speaking on RTE News, he said that two long haul aircraft which the airline set for delivery next year to take advantage of open skies will be used to grow business on existing North America routes.

He said that Ireland was uniquely placed in Europe to take advantage of open skies whenever and in whatever form it was introduced.

The airline has not been forced to discount its offer price for its upcoming IPO because of the security events last week, according to Mannion.

He added that airlines were at times more susceptible to security risks than other industries and that passenger safety remained the key concern.