Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary.

Athens - Low-cost airline Ryanair on Wednesday said it plans to bid for Cyprus Airways before a deadline in the next 24-hours.

Ryanair's chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, told the BBC that a “very positive meeting” was held with the Cypriot government and the airline last week.

Ryanair is among fifteen companies that have submitted non-binding expressions of interest in the loss-making airline, which is under the control of the Cypriot government.

The Cypriot government owns more than 90 per cent of Cyprus Airways, which has struggled to survive against cheaper competitors.

According to the newspaper Cyprus Mail, the Communication and Works Ministry will evaluate all business plans.

Companies that make the shortlist will then be asked to file binding proposals.

The airline's new owner should be announced by the beginning of October. - Sapa-dpa