Ryanair has denied that its boss Michael O'Leary made a call for extra checks for Muslim men at airports.
The airline's response came as Mr. O'Leary faces mounting criticism over "irresponsible" remarks he made in a newspaper interview.
The Times reported that the airline chief executive said that Muslim men should be profiled at airports because “that is where the threat is coming from”.
He is quoted as saying: “Who are the bombers? They are going to be single males travelling on their own.
"If you are travelling with a family of kids, on you go; the chances you are going to blow them all up is zero.
"Thirty years ago it was the Irish. If that is where the threat is coming from, deal with the threat.”
The comments prompted immediate condemnation from politicians, charities and Muslim rights groups.
Shayk Dr Umar al-Qadri from the Islamic Centre of Ireland said: "As a Muslim, I find it quite irresponsible of him to make such comments - particularly when we are living, unfortunately, in an era where there is rising Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment."
The Muslim Council of Britain, meanwhile, said it was a shame "that the CEO of a large airline would so want to discriminate against his customers so brazenly.
"These comments are openly racist. He openly advocates discrimination against "males of a Muslim persuasion", which presumably is not based on specific intelligence but solely whether someone 'looks or acts like a Muslim'. This is the very definition of Islamophobia. https://t.co/0MScuJog1t
— MCB (@MuslimCouncil) February 22, 2020
In a statement today, Ryanair claimed the newspaper headline was "simply inaccurate".
They said: "No call for extra checks on any group or persons was made.
"Michael was only calling for more effective airport security checks which would do away with much of the unnecessary queues at airport security today for all passengers.
"He apologises sincerely for any offence caused to any group by today’s inaccurate headline."