Portugal’s government announced on Thursday that it plans to sell a majority stake of at least 51% in state-owned airline TAP Air Portugal next year, after the carrier returned to profit following a 3.2-billion-euro ($3.4 billion) taxpayer-funded restructuring program.
The goal is to attract strategic investors who can help develop the national aviation sector, while keeping the airline’s hub in Lisbon and investing in staff and expansion, Finance Minister Fernando Medina said at a news conference.
TAP, one of Europe’s smaller national airlines, carried almost 14 million passengers last year, a company record that is forecast to be surpassed this year. It also made a profit of 65.6 million euros ($69 million) on revenue of 3.5 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in 2022, after four years of losses, according to company financial reports.
TAP has more than 11,000 staff and more than 90 aircraft flying to more than 80 destinations, mostly in Europe but also in North and South America, especially Brazil and the United States, and Africa.