By Jonathan Davies

The Irish Parliament has voted in favour of selling its stake in Irish airline Aer Lingus.

The government agreed to sell its 25% stake to British Airways owner, IAG, earlier this week. But it still required a Parliamentary vote.

The moved was passed with 74 voting in favour and 51 against.

Some MPs had expressed concerns that routes between Heathrow and Dublin would be reduced as a result of the deal. But IAG agreed to a legally binding obligation to at least maintain its current services to Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

IAG still needs to negotiate with Ryanair, which holds a 29% stake in Aer Lingus. Ryanair has said it will consider an offer when it is made.

Aer Lingus will continue to operate as a separate brand.