Portuguese government raises its stake in national airline

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EPA-EFE/MANUEL DE ALMEIDA

A TAP Air Portugal aircraft grounded at Humberto Delgado airport closed for passenger traffic as part of the exceptional traffic measures to combat the epidemiological situation of Covid-19, in Lisbon, Portugal, 09 April 2020 (reissued 02 July 2020). The granting of state support to TAP has been under discussion since the airline’s activity came to a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic, with an agreed injection of up to 1,200 million euros. The granting of state support to TAP has been under discussion since the airline's activity came to a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic, with an agreed injection of up to 1,200 million euros. EPA-EFE/MANUEL DE ALMEIDA style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Portuguese government raises its stake in national airline

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08524023 A TAP Air Portugal aircraft grounded at Humberto Delgado airport closed for passenger traffic as part of the exceptional traffic measures to combat the epidemiological situation of Covid-19, in Lisbon, Portugal, 09 April 2020 (reissued 02 July 2020).
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In 2016 however, the government negotiated a 50% public stake in the company. The EU Commission recently granted Portugal a permission to inject €1.2 billion into the airline. Transport minister Pedro Nuno Santos earlier said that the airline brings about half of the tourists who arrive by air: “It would be a disaster if we lost TAP”, he said. The consortium of private investors kept 45% and the airline’s staff were sold 5% of the company. TAP has around 10,000 employees. It reported a loss of €395 million in the first quarter, but also had reported losses in the previous two years. The airline was privatised in 2015 following a national financial crisis. “The state will now play a key role in TAP”, finance minister Joao Leao said. Portugal said Thursday it is increasing its stake in its flag carrier airline, TAP Air Portugal, from 50% to 72.5% after negotiations with the company’s private shareholders.

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