The CEO of Ryanair Michael O’Leary thinks that the most likely candidate to purchase TAP will be the International Airlines Group (IAG), which has British Airways.
In a press conference, O’Leary had no doubt “TAP will end up in the hands of British Airways IAG” rather than the other candidates in the troika of bidders, Lufthansa or Air France KLM.
The Irish airline mogul also prophesied that easyJet would be snapped up by either British Airways or Air France. Winx will probably go to Lufthansa.
The opinion from the airline entrepreneur comes just one day after TAP’s CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener was called before a parliamentary committee to give an account of her grasp on management and spending after director Alexandra Reis resigned after 18 months into the job with a €500,000 golden handshake.
The French executive said that TAP had been on the verge of collapse in 2021 “if it weren’t for State help”, as had been the case with other airlines in Europe. She said that last year the airline had had the “best results in its history”.
Christine Ourmières-Widener said that her position at the helm of the airline was tenable, pointing out that the company had enjoyed excellent results despite the high price of jet fuel and the impact of the Covid crisis, and said that, after one year, the restructuring plan traced out by the company was nearly complete.
She said that she had a contractual bonus plan in place if the restructuring plan was “fully delivered” by 2025, by which time the company should be privatised. The executive did not reveal the amount.
One airline chef executive who has also expressed an interested in acquiring TAP is Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr, who said at an event that buying TAP was “on the table” particularly because of its links with South America.
On January 20, economy minister António Costa e Silva admitted that the IAG group (Iberia, Vueling, BA and Are Lingus) is being viewed in a favourable light by the government. It is believed that the price tag would be around €900 million.
Source: Essential Business