Ireland's parliament has voted in favor of selling off the country's share in the Aer Lingus airline, as part of a 1.4 billion euro (US$1.53 billion) takeover bid by International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways.

The coalition government secured the majority backing it needed in Parliament for sale of the stake, with lawmakers voting in favor Thursday after two days of heated debate.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the deal was in the best interests of Ireland.

The Irish government had retained a 25 percent stake in Dublin-based Aer Lingus after it was publicly floated on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges in 2006.

IAG still needs backing from low-cost carrier Ryanair, the largest shareholder of Aer Lingus, to complete the deal.