Ryanair appears to have dropped plans to begin transatlantic flights only days after it revealed its board had approved the move.

A company statement said: “In the light of recent press coverage, the board of Ryanair Holdings Plc wishes to clarify that it has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so.”  

On Monday, Ryanair said its board approved a plan to operate flights to the US within five years.

It said it would like to offer low-cost flights between 12 to 14 European cities and the same number of US cities.

The company had revealed it was talking to manufacturers about the purchase of long-haul aircraft as it planned to develop transatlantic business between Europe and North America.

Ryanair said a start date would depend on getting the aircraft needed and it had not yet negotiated a deal.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary has been talking about transatlantic flights for several years.

The company statement on Monday said: "The board of Ryanair have approved the business plans for future growth, including transatlantic. We are talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft.

"European consumers want lower cost travel to the US and the same for Americans coming to Europe. We see it as a logical development in the European market."