Ryanair has dismissed claims that it made an approach for Norwegian or that it intends to in the future.

The comments came despite suggestions from the chief executive of Norwegian that it had been approached by the Irish low fares airline, The Times reported.

The statement from Ryanair contradicted a report by Reuters that it made a proposal last year to take a stake of about 20% in the Oslo-listed carrier.

Bjorn Kjos, Norwegian’s chief executive, said that there had been contact between the carriers but did not give any details.

“I can confirm that Ryanair has shown interest in Norwegian Air and that I brought it up with the board,” he said.

Norwegian emerged as a bid target after British Airways owner International Airlines Group revealed last month that it had bought a 4.6% in the carrier and was potentially interested in a takeover.

Norwegian has shaken up the transatlantic market by offering flights from Gatwick to the US for around £150.

It uses a fleet of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners but is in the red and has amassed debts of £2 billion.

Ryanair responded to claims that it is interested in Norwegian by saying: “We have not made an approach to Norwegian and we have no interest.”

Ryanair and Norwegian are Europe’s largest and third-largest low-cost airlines respectively and compete for passengers, pilots and crews.

Norwegian has also clashed with IAG over a potential takeover, saying earlier this month that it had rejected two takeover proposals from IAG because they undervalued the airline and its prospects.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh responded by saying: “We have had contact with their board and are now reviewing all our options. No formal offer has been made.”