TAP Air Portugal to tap private investors in next 12 months

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Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa has been widely quoted saying that the privatisation of TAP Air Portugal is planned in the next 12 months. The airline's CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener has said that the integration of Portugal's national airline into a large aviation group would "would be a source of resilience for the future".

A partial privatisation in 2015, sparked an expansion period for TAP, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused a collapse in traffic. It also led to a series of bailout payments from the Portuguese government and a restructuring programme.

The alternative, according to ministers, would have been TAP's closure and the loss of Portugal's central aviation position. As a consequence, TAP is now fully state controlled, but the government has long indicated the airline will need new partners and investors to compete in the post-COVID world.

This report looks at some of the key features of TAP that any prospective partner may be assessing.

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