The Portuguese airline has decided to close the operations of Maintenance and Engineering Brazil (TAP ME), as part of the restructuring plan approved by Brussels in December.
TAP Group has decided to close the operations of Maintenance and Engineering Brazil (TAP ME), as part of the restructuring plan approved by Brussels in December, the airline’s chief executive, Christine Ourmières-Widener, told Lusa on Wednesday.
She said “it was not an easy decision” because it involves 500 workers but was taken after failed attempts to sell it.
“It was not an easy decision, because we are talking about people, but we are trying to do everything to ensure that this decision and its implementation is made respecting our workers, the experience they have in engineering and all the loyalty they have to the company”.
The idea is to gradually close the operation, and after a “sufficient period of time, close down completely”. Discussions with unions in Brazil began today.
“It’s a decision that is absolutely consistent with the restructuring plan – we’ve been very diligent in making sure that’s the case – we tried to sell, but the industry is going through a massive crisis,” she said, adding that there had been some attempts to sell it last year, “but they were not successful”.
“We arrived at the decision after considering all other options,” she assured, adding that although difficult, it is a “critical” decision for the success of the restructuring plan.
The European Commission said on December 21 that it had approved TAP’s restructuring plan and state aid of €2.55 billion, but imposed conditions, including the separation of non-essential assets, namely the maintenance business in Brazil, and the ‘catering’ (Cateringpor) and ‘handling’ (Groundforce).