Budget airline Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said Muslim men should be profiled and face further checks at airports because "that is where the threat is coming from" in an interview on Saturday with British newspaper The Times.
He suggested that checks on families should be less stringent while Muslim men flying alone should be targeted by airport security.
"Who are the bombers? They are going to be single males traveling on their own... You can't say stuff, because it's racism, but it will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion. Thirty years ago, it was the Irish. If that is where the threat is coming from, deal with the threat," the Times reported him as saying.
Ryanair did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain accused O'Leary of making discriminatory remarks, expressing disappointment that "the CEO of a large airline would so want to discriminate against his customers so brazenly."