"It has been very encouraging to see the restructuring plans that have been outlined for TAP. I think there is long-term viability for the company," said Margrethe Vestager.
The European Commission on Tuesday said it saw long-term viability for airline TAP and promised a decision this week on the restructuring plan, warning that it should involve remedies.
“It has been very encouraging to see the restructuring plans that have been outlined for TAP. I think there is long-term viability for the company,” said the European Commission’s executive vice-president in charge of competition, Margrethe Vestager.
At a press conference in Brussels on new state aid guidelines for climate, environment and energy, she was asked about TAP’s restructuring plan and said that the EU executive is “working hard right now for a decision this week”.
“Public support for TAP is quite large, and to mitigate competition distortion, TAP has also accepted some commitments,” said Margrethe Vestager.
The government submitted TAP’s restructuring plan to the European Commission a year ago and has since implemented measures such as reducing staff.
After the European Commission approved state support of up to €1.2 billion for TAP on June 10 2020, the company had six months to present a restructuring plan to convince Brussels that the company has future viability.
In August this year, the European Commission admitted it feared the €3.2bn restructuring aid for TAP violated competition rules. This complaint has been repeated by other airlines such as Ryanair.
Brussels also said it doubted that the €3.2 billion support would guarantee its viability for good, although it recognised the importance of the Portuguese state rescuing the airline.
According to the report accompanying the 2022 draft budget, the government planned to inject €1.988 billion into TAP this year and in 2022.