By Jonathan Davies

Irish airline Aer Lingus has confirmed that it is considering an improved takeover offer from British Airways' owner IAG.

Aer Lingus rejected two bids last year, but has now received a new offer worth €1.36bn offer.

Any deal would require the approval of the Irish government and Ryanair, both of which hold a considerable stake in the airline. The government owns 25% of Aer Lingues and Ryanair owns 29.8%.

IAG is understood to be keen on Aer Lingus' presence at Heathrow. The Irish airline is Heathrow's fourth biggest operator behind British Airways, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlatnic. It has 23 take-off and landing slots which is valued at £30m each.

The Irish government is expected to discuss the offer at its weekly cabinet meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). But it is believed that the Irish opposition will call on the government to veto the bid, citing concern over the loss of routes between Heathrow and Ireland.

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