Aer Lingus has insisted it has no "immediate" intention to set up a new base in Britain.
UK aviation authorities have confirmed that they have held talks with the former state flag carrier with a view to the airline applying for an Air Operator's Certificate in Britain.
Such certification would potentially allow Aer Lingus, currently in talks with unions over the implementation of a restructuring plan that seeks to make almost €100m in savings, move from Dublin to cheaper bases such as Gatwick and Belfast.
But Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says while talks on the matter have taken place, no formal application has yet been lodged.
Any application would take up to three months to secure.
Corporate Affairs director at Aer Lingus Enda Corneille said that while the contract would give the airline the potential to move aircraft to the UK and establish its base there, they have no immediate intention to do so.
A spokesperson for Siptu, one of the main trade union groups at Aer Lingus, said that they are aware that such an application is a possibility, but do not think it would impact heavily on the implications of the airline's restructuring plan.
Negotiations between unions and management at Aer Lingus are set to resume this afternoon at the Labour Relations Commission on the airline's plan to secure around €97m in savings through measures including over 670 job cuts.