Minister Pedro Nuno Santos said that the Government is ready to intervene in TAP but says that is "waiting for the private shareholder to accept the conditions."
The Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, said on Monday that the Government is awaiting a response from the private shareholder in TAP, Atlantic Gateway, regarding the State’s conditions for involvement in the company.
“We will intervene at TAP, we are ready to do it in a matter of days, we are waiting for the private [shareholder] to accept the conditions that the State has presented. It is a process that needs the authorization of the European Commission”, he said.
Portugal “is part of the EU, there is a set of rules that regulate state aid to companies and so the process is the same for Portugal as for any European country”, he explained.
Without revealing amounts, Pedro Nuno Santos advanced that “the Portuguese State wants to intervene in TAP because it is a strategic company for national development.”
“The amount is large and we don’t do it with our eyes closed. There are a number of conditions that have to be accepted by the private sector”, he declared.
Asked by journalists whether the model for TAP is inspired by other European countries, he stressed that it will be “the model we think is important” for the airline.
“Each country, each airline has its particular needs. Portugal has the capacity, sometimes, to do things better than others, we don’t always have to wait to find out whether we do what the Germans or the French did”.
“Contrary to the message that there is a single answer for all airlines, this does not correspond to reality. Each airline has its own unique character and ours also has its own unique character”.
“We have a land border with only one country. TAP, air traffic, air transport is critical for Portugal and that’s why we don’t say no to intervening to save TAP,” he added.
Since 2016, the state (through Parpública) has held 50% of TAP, a result of negotiations by António Costa’s government with the Gateway consortium (of Humberto Pedrosa and David Neeleman), which took 45% of the carrier’s capital.
The remaining 5% of the company is in the hands of the workers.