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Portugal's TAP airline posts record profit before privatisation

TAP’s net profit is $192m in Q3

By AFP - Oct 24,2023 - Last updated at Oct 24,2023

TAP airline aircrafts remain on the tarmac of the Humberto Delgado airport in Lisbon on April 9, 2020 (AFP file photo)

LISBON — TAP Air Portugal earned a record net profit of 180.5 million euros ($192 million) in the third quarter, the airline said on Tuesday as the government prepares to reprivatise the firm.

The 62.2 per cent jump in profits was accompanied by a 12.5 per cent rise in revenue to 1.2 billion euros in July through September.

Passenger numbers rose by 5.2 per cent during the period — the key European summer holiday season — compared to the same time last year.

"The third quarter results are encouraging," said chief executive Luis Rodrigues, adding the airline was implementing measures to boost its rebound following two difficult years.

"The considerable rise in revenue" and the "strong trajectory of debt reduction proves the financial strength of the group in a difficult context", he added.

Portugal nationalised TAP as losses mounted during the COVID-19 pandemic, injecting 3.2 billion euros into the airline as part of a restructuring plan agreed with the European Commission.

The government recently launched the privatisation of the airline, hoping to return at least 51 per cent to the private sector, with major European airline groups Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and IAG (British Airways and Iberia) showing interest.

The government is expected soon to release a detailed list of specifications for bidders, which is due to feature commitments like developing Lisbon as a hub for operations, in particular between Europe and Brazil.


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