TAP had disappointing 2018 says chairman
The Chairman of Portuguese national carrier TAP Portugal said the airline did “not have a good year” in either financial or operational terms.
Speaking at an event in Lisbon organised by the International Club of Portugal on the theme ‘Tourism as an Economic Development Factor, Miguel Frasquilho said that 2018 had “not been a good year for TAP” in either operational or financial terms.
However, in line with comments made by the company’s co-owner, David Neeleman, he stressed that Lisbon intended to become a global hub and in order to do that it had consolidate its Atlantic operations.
After regretting the decision by the private Chinese aviation, tourism, financial services, real estate and logistics giant HNA Group to abandon plans to become greater shareholders in the airline (it has 20% and is affiliated to 11 Chinese national and regional airlines and several other international airlines including Azul Brazilian airlines)-
HNA has sold its share in TAP through Atlantic Gateway for €48.6 million in which it had a 2% direct and 9% indirect share to the US fund Global Aviation Ventures ($30 million) while the rest is now in the hands of the Brazilian carrier Azul ($25 million) which is also a shareholder in TAP.
Azul was created by David Neeleman who owns 40% of Atlantic Gateway. HNA had, until one month ago, increased its participation in Atlantic Gateway from 12% to 20% at a time when HNA had liquidity problems.
The Chinese group had offloaded investments and cancelled deals, including in the aviation industry which is the company’s mainstay.
One of HNA’s subsidiary airlines, Capital Airlines launched the first direct flight between China and Portugal but then suspended the service after one year in operation.
At the lunch he said that TAP’s punctuality record of 40-50% was “unacceptable” and said that the reasons for disappointing financial results had to do in the increase in kerosine prices, the increase in value of the Angolan and Brazilian currencies, the kwanza and real, salary increases and compensation paid to passengers.
He also again bemoaned the lack of capacity at Lisbon’s international airport and mentioned the expansion works that would be carried out at Humberto Delgado which would buy TAP “two of three more years.”