Ryanair has agreed the possibility of transferring some of its routes and aircraft to UK based Flybe as it seeks to get approval from the European Commission for its bid for Aer Lingus.
In response to press speculation, Flybe issued a statement today.
It said that Ryanair had agreed ''in principle'' to create a new company, into which business assets, including cash of €100m, would be transferred and which Flybe would then acquire.
Media outlets yesterday said that Ryanair had offered Flybe €100m to take some Aer Lingus routes off its hands as the European Commission prepares to decide on its €694m offer for Aer Lingus.
In a statement this morning, Flybe said the agreement has not been approved by its board and it would also be subject to Flybe shareholder approval.
''The implementation of any agreement would be dependent, inter alia, on the status of Ryanair's offer for Aer Lingus; the outcome of the Commission's deliberations on the competition aspects of Ryanair's bid; and the agreement of a timetable for the implementation of the proposed remedies,'' the statement added.
Ryanair is making its third takeover attempt of Aer Lingus and needs to make concessions that would retain competition in air transport to and from Ireland.
Flybe is a UK based low cost regional airline group operating over 180 routes to 65 European airports.
Ryanair's January traffic shows decline
Meanwhile, Ryanair has said that monthly traffic fell by 50,000 last month when compared to figures from January 2012.
The airline said it had grounded up to 80 aircraft following a busy Christmas period, but still enjoyed record 12-month period to the end of January 2013.
It said almost 80 million passengers had flown on one of its routes during that time.