TAP’s losses for 2018: “bitter taste for PM Costa”

It’s being billed as ‘a tragedy’: massive losses expected for national airline TAP in respect of 2018.

With Azul Airlines boss David Neeleman having recently bought out Chinese shareholders for almost €49 million, the truth is that TAP’s poor financial performance won’t do prime minister António Costa any favours in the run-up to October’s legislative elections.

It was Costa who insisted on reversing TAP’s privatisation so that the government retains 50% of the airline.

As financial newspaper Jornal Económico explains, “politically this situation is very delicate”.

For now, it’s unclear just how large TAP’s losses will be.

Talk in February flip flapped between €150-€180 million.

It may not be as bad as that, but the results will shine uncomfortable light on a number of ‘back stories’, particularly on the appointment of TAP’s non-executive director Diogo Lacerda Machado who was “connected to one of the most ruinous deals ever signed with the airline” and whose new position was criticised “in several political quarters” (click here).

TAP’s losses will also cast a shadow over the first year of the company’s new CEO Antonaldo Neves, adds Jornal Económico, concluding that there is also “the matter of TAP director António Gomes de Menezes who was executive president of Swiss operator PrivatAir which hired Executive Class planes and declared bankruptcy in the Swiss courts despite having major clients, like Lufthansa, SAS and British Airways”.

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