The Government will likely make a final decision on whether it should sell its Aer Lingus stake to IAG in the coming weeks, according to the Minister for Transport.

Pascal Donohoe has confirmed that a review group advising the State has had “useful” engagement with IAG over its proposed bid and said he expected a conclusion to the matter “in the coming weeks”.

A report by the review group, which is being advised by Credit Suisse and IBI Corporate Finance, is believed to be nearing completion.  

The Government had asked for more detail from IAG on the proposed deal for Aer Lingus. It has requested more information on potential job losses and clarity on a hub which IAG plans for Dublin. 

In his statement today Mr Donohoe said IAG has "provided further details on the issues of concern to Government" that were raised in February.

Earlier reports from Bloomberg said that British Airways owner IAG and Government representatives were moving closer to an agreement on guarantees that would pave the way for a sale of Aer Lingus.

That was according to people with knowledge of the matter, the financial news agency Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said that IAG and Government officials have made progress on the length of commitments on operating Aer Lingus routes from Ireland to London Heathrow airport following a potential €1.4 billion IAG takeover.

IAG had offered guarantees regarding the use of Heathrow slots for a five year period while the Government sought a longer guarantee. 

Sources suggest that a compromise of between five and ten years might emerge. 

The Government owns a 25% stake in Aer Lingus. Its shares moved closed 3.8% higher in Dublin trade today.