July 15, 2020 / 3:00 PM / 24 days ago

TAP will struggle to succeed alone, consolidation likely, minister says

July 15 (Reuters) - Portugal’s flag carrier TAP is unlikely to succeed alone and must be open to consolidation with other airlines in the medium term, the country’s infrastructure minister said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

The government sealed a deal on July 2 with the company’s private shareholders to increase its 50% stake to 72.5%, avoiding a full-scale nationalisation.

But infrastructure minister Pedro Nuno Santos said the government did not exclude that in the future TAP could reopen its capital to other airlines and that consolidation could happen in the medium and long term.

“It is difficult for TAP to succeed in this global market alone,” Nuno Santos said.

“TAP was coveted by several very important airlines in the aviation sector, namely Lufthansa, but it was not the only one,” he said, referring to the situation before the pandemic.

By Sérgio Gonçalves, Editing by Victoria Waldersee and Jane Merriman

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