"Being part of a large group would be a source of resilience for the future," said Ourmières-Widener, during a meeting with the foreign press in Lisbon.
The chief executive officer (CEO) of TAP, Christine Ourmières-Widener, said on Thursday that the integration of the company into a major aviation group would contribute to its future resilience, although she did not give any deadlines for the reprivatisation process.
“Being part of a large group would be a source of resilience for the future,” said Ourmières-Widener, during a meeting with the foreign press in Lisbon, where he gave assurances that the board of TAP “will provide support in any process”.
Several media outlets have reported that the government plans to launch the TAP reprivatisation process, in which Lufthansa, Air France/KLM, and the IAG group (British Airways and Iberia) would be interested, although the latter was the worst positioned because it could harm the company’s hub at Lisbon airport.
According to EFE, the CEO said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on potential buyers and did not give any deadlines for a possible sale, but said that the airline was a “fantastic opportunity” within Europe.
“We have one of the most modern fleets in Europe,” she stressed.
The TAP CEO acknowledged that macroeconomic forecasts pointing to a possible recession are a cause for concern for the airline, but pointed out that the situation was not the same in all countries.
“Looking at the destinations we travel to, we see that there is still a significant appetite,” she explained, while acknowledging that there was particular concern about the British market.
This year, fuel costs will approach €1bn, a figure higher than budgeted by the airline.
The company is especially committed to the Brazilian market, where it has “a big presence”, and sees potential to increase the frequencies of the 11 destinations it already operates in that territory.
Therefore, the imminent presidential elections in Brazil “are of relevant importance” to the airline.
TAP was highly affected by the pandemic, having received state aid of around €3.2 billion and becoming entirely state-owned.