Portugal returns to nationalize TAP, its flag airline, for 2,726 million euros


Portugal backtracks and now intends to convert the privatization of the flag carrier, TAP, on wet paper. The plan is to reverse the entire process that put the company in the hands of the controversial Brazilian-American tycoon David neeleman and that the State becomes the sole shareholder before the end of the year. But the operation is going to be very expensive for the Portuguese, since it will amount to 2,726 million euros in less than a year. The strategy will not stop there because a program has been established that aims to cleanse the company of financial toxicity and will involve small investors, private shareholders and workers.

Brussels which intends to apply a total of 3,200 million euros in order to refloat the battered TAP. It was last year when the forecasts to renationalize the firm were aired, although it was not clear how. Now, the socialist cabinet considers that the time has come to reverse the fact that 45% of the company remained in private hands, in charge of the Portuguese-Brazilian consortium Atlantic Gateway, headed by the aforementioned tycoon and by the businessman Humberto Pedrosa, from Porto.

The Executive had to subsequently send the nationalization diploma to the presidency of the Council of Ministers, something that happened while Neeleman was becoming increasingly unruly. His management was in question and he did not accept the conditions defended by the Government. The Minister of Infrastructure has already made it clear, Pedro Nuno Santos, declaring: “TAP is too important for the country to afford to lose the company.” The prime minister who preceded Antonio Costa, the conservative Pedro Passos Coelho, was the one who authorized its sale to the consortium Gateway.

As the main international companies in the sector, the flag carrier of Portugal, TAP, is going through a critical moment in the current context of health and economic crisis, which in 2020 translated into an urgent need for economic revitalization worth 1 billion euros. Time has shown that those who distrusted the operation that the Portuguese firm left in the hands of David Neeleman, also owner of the ‘low cost’ Azul, were right.

Thats why he Condition The neighboring country has maintained a vigilant role in its management and has had no choice but to listen to critical voices from the north. The last management team presented a new plan for the renewal of the different routes and gave the note with a flight scheme that barely contemplated the second airport in the country, Porto. In fact, it only established three regular flights.

Controversy and outrage went hand in hand since similar intentions were revealed, just as he portrayed a public appearance of the mayors of Porto, Viana do Castelo, Maia and Vila Real. All together they vigorously protested the clear marginalization of northern Portugal.

In terms of another stopover, but it’s kind of like Iberia stopped flying to Barcelona. Antonio Costa himself was forced to intervene in the controversy and requested a rectification that did not take place. Various industrial sectors, from Coimbra to border with GaliciaThey depend on a full-fledged reconsideration, so Portugal has a lot at stake.

The anger of the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, It was huge with the team of the millionaire with dual nationality. Hence, he declared days later: “TAP is trying to impose a lockdown on Porto and the entire north. It never lost the perspective of being a colonial company and its structure never thought otherwise. Today all that weight has contributed to the collapse of the company, since it cannot find a way to achieve profitability in these times. The State’s own intervention endorses it.

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