Ryanair has announced that it has withdrawn from the Stansted sale process, having been advised by BAA Stansted's owner, Ferrovial, that it will exclude Ryanair and any Ryanair related consortium from the Stansted sale process.

The airline issued a statement today.

Ryanair said it does not wish to prejudice other potential investors in Stansted.

Therefore it has written to "all investors/consortia it has held discussions with to advise them that Ryanair will not participate in the sale process or seek a minority stake".

However, Ryanair says it will continue to explore traffic growth opportunities it believes are available at Stansted.

Stansted was put up for sale in August after it was forced to sell off assets by the country's competition regulator.

Ryanair had previously stated that it had held talks with potential bidders for Stansted after it was asked to consider acquiring a minority stake as part of a consortium.

But Ferrovial had now excluded Ryanair from the process, the airline said today, without citing any reasons.