Ground crew are seen parking an Aer Lingus Airbus A320 away from the passenger terminals at Dublin Airport, in the Republic of Ireland in this June 2, 2002 file photograph
Ground crew are seen parking an Aer Lingus Airbus A320 away from the passenger terminals at Dublin Airport, in the Republic of IrelandReuters

Ryanair's CEO has called the Irish government's concerns over the potential Aer Lingus takeover "misplaced".

Speaking to Ireland's national broadcaster RTE, Michael O'Leary said that its fellow Aer Lingus shareholder, should not throw too much caution over the potential takeover from the International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG).

"More people fly to other London airports than fly to Heathrow on a daily basis from Ireland so much of the noise about Aer Lingus or connectivity or Heathrow slots is entirely misplaced in what is a rapidly changing modern aviation world," said O'Leary.

On 27 January, Aer Lingus accepted a €1.36bn (£1.02bn, $1.54bn) bid from the IAG, which owns British Airways.

The Irish carrier, which is part owned by the government and low-cost airline Ryanair, confirmed in a statement that it had accepted IAG's renewed offer of €2.55 per share, following its two previously failed bids.

However, it added that the result will depend on the recommendation of Aer Lingus's board, as well as the Irish government, which owns 25% of the airline, and Ryanair, which has a 29.8% stake.

On 1 February, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said IAG must provide a "cast iron permanent guarantee" that flights serving Ireland won't be shaken up too much, if the government was to consider the bid.

If the deal goes ahead, the Irish government is set to make around €308m.

BA is the largest operator at Heathrow, while Aer Lingus comes in fourth. IAG is looking to snap up Aer Lingus and the airline's 23 pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow airport.