Flybe today confirmed discussions with Ryanair over the transfer of aircraft and routes as part of the Irish carrier’s attempt to take over rival Aer Lingus.

The UK-based regional carrier issued a statement to the Stock Exchange this morning in response to press speculation saying: “Flybe confirms that it has reached an agreement in principle with Ryanair about the possible transfer of a number of aircraft and operating routes as part of a package of concessions Ryanair has submitted to the European Commission.”

The agreement provides for a new company to be incorporated into which the relevant business assets (including cash of €100 million) and liabilities would be transferred and which Flybe would then acquire.

The airline added that the deal had yet to be approved by the Flybe board and that it would be subject to shareholder approval.

“The implementation of any agreement would be dependent, inter alia, on the status of Ryanair’s offer for Aer Lingus; the outcome of the Commission’s deliberations on the competition aspects of Ryanair’s bid; and the agreement of a timetable for the implementation of the proposed remedies,” Flybe added.

Aer Lingus, which announces 2012 financial results tomorrow (Wednesday), has resisted repeated attempts by 30% shareholder Ryanair to engineer a takeover.

The no-frills carrier has it forward a series of remedies to the European Commission, including handing over routes to Flybe and British Airways,  in an effort to win approval for the Aer Lingus takeover bid.