The European Commission has not raised any initial, major objections to the pledges made by IAG as part of its bid to takeover Aer Lingus, according to reports.
British Airways parent IAG is offering a guarantee on maintaining routes between Ireland and London for seven years, according to a source cited by Bloomberg, if the Government agrees to sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus.
News agency Bloomberg reports that the Government had sought an indication from Europe that any deal would not raise competition concerns, though a formal review would not take place until IAG issue a full offer.
Discussions have continued since the airline group’s indicative bid was rejected in February and a report by an expert group advising on the possible sale has now been received by Government.
The Government decision has been delayed for months by the preparation of the report, which could help it win over some sceptical members of parliament and the airline's trade unions.
A Department of Transport spokesman said that while Minister Paschal Donohoe had received the report, the issue was "not on the agenda" for tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting.
Separately, the department also confirmed it had been in touch with the European Commission about the deal, though it declined to comment on the outcome of its deliberations.
“There has been contact with the European Commission as we are prudently ensuring that any mechanisms that may be considered would be robust in the event that a deal is done,” it said.
The European Commission also declined to comment.
IAG proposed €1.36 billion bid was recommended by the Aer Lingus board in January but the group said it would only proceed with a full bid with the agreement of the Government and Ryanair, which controls a 29.8% in Aer Lingus.
Shares in Aer Lingus were up marginally in Dublin trade this morning.