Airline || After five profit-making years, Portugal’s national airline TAP closed 2014 with losses to the tune of €46 million.
Presenting the results on Wednesday (March 26), TAP president Fernando Pinto attributed the losses to a number of operational difficulties and a series of strikes held by union members against the government’s plans to privatise the airline.
Although the airline registered passenger and occupation increases (+6.6% and +1.2%), these technical issues and strikes are believed to have cost the airline around “€108 million”.
“We knew it would be a very hard year,” Pinto said. “What’s important is that the company starts to show signs of normality in 2015, especially in operational terms,” the head of the airline declared.
As the Resident reported, TAP made headlines last summer for a number of technical difficulties that led to flight delays and emergency landings. The airline always denied that the incidents were related.
The airline also made the news for the 22 days of strikes it endured in 2014, with workers defending that the privatisation of the company was being unduly rushed.
Pinto denies “loss of interest”
In spite of TAP’s loss-making year, Fernando Pinto denies that potential buyers have lost interest in the company’s privatisation deal.
“We have heard nothing about a loss of interest,” he stated.
Pinto said that at the time the airline was experiencing difficulties, he met with various companies that were interested in TAP. He did not reveal, however, which and how many companies he has met with.
He also guaranteed that TAP’s market value was not affected by the technical issues or the strikes because they were “unusual events out of the airline’s control”.