THE Lisbon government will approve next week the legal framework for the privatization of the airline TAP Air Portugal.
“ Next week we will approve the decree which defines the terms of the privatization of TAP. We will privatize part or all of the capital depending on the interests of the company, Portugal and the Portuguese », Confirmed the Portuguese socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa. He indicated that the Portuguese state government intends to retain a strategic stake in the Portuguese flag carrier airline, renationalized in 2020 during the Covid pandemic and which is now undergoing restructuring in the part of a 3.2 billion euro rescue plan approved by the EU.
“ We have always said that State intervention was not intended to keep 100% of the capital forever, but rather to respond to a crisis situation. », Specified the Prime Minister. “ I can confirm that next week (during the council of ministers on September 28, editor’s note), the cabinet will approve the document that will establish the legal framework for the privatization of TAP, defending the company and the interests of Portugal and the Portuguese », added the Portuguese Prime Minister. The privatization process, which was initially expected to begin in July, will take months and is not expected to be completed until next year.
The three major European airline groups -IAG (British Airways and IBeria), Lufthansa Group and Air France-KLM- have so far expressed their interest in TAP Air Portugal. The latter recorded a net profit of 23 million euros in the first half, compared to a loss of 202 million euros a year earlier thanks to strong growth in its passenger traffic and therefore its turnover. business. It carried 7.58 million travelers in the first half of 2023, an increase of 30% compared to a year ago and almost 96% of the level reached before the pandemic.