Fernando Medina, the Portuguese Minister of Finance, made it clear during a press conference after the Council of Ministers this Thursday, September 28: “We do not want purely financial investments. Such investors would simply attempt to enter TAP and later sell all or part of the national airline. This means that the strategic contribution to the country would be lost.”
“We want large investors in the aeronautics sector, alone or in consortia led by them, who correspond to our strategic objectives,” explained the minister. This means that three out of seven known bidders are already out of the running, having presented themselves as investment companies or funds.
With this clarification, the government is looking for a large-scale investor in the airline sector or a consortium led by it, said the minister, without specifying the final percentage that will be reprivatized or the value to proceed with this sale, which will depend on respect for “strategic objectives” set by the executive.
This therefore puts Air France-KLM, the Lufthansa group and IAG in the spotlight. The three must give TAP a development program, expand the Lisbon hub, guarantee investments and employment in high quality activities in the Portuguese aeronautical sector, promote the company’s traffic from Porto and, of course, make the the highest possible offer.
The Portuguese airline emerged from losses by closing the first half of 2023 with a profit of 22.9 million euros, compared to 202.1 million lost in the same period of the previous year; while it closed 2022 with a profit – for the first time in five years – of 65.6 million.