Part privatisation saved TAP says chairman
The chairman of Portuguese airline TAP, Miguel Frasquilho, said this week that the company would have gone under in 2015 if it hadn’t been for private shareholder investment.
“If TAP had not been part-privatised with the entry of private shareholders David Neeleman and Humberto Pedrosa the airline would have gone under,” he told Radio Observador.
“If they hadn’t come in, there wouldn’t have even been enough cash-flow to pay the salaries the following month, so the shareholders’ funds were essential for TAP’s survival,” he said.
The TAP chairman admitted that the pandemic would leave TAP’s accounts in the red “with huge losses” just like other airlines around the world.
Frasquilho was speaking one week after the airline had announced that the State would increase its shareholding to 72.5%. He praised the private shareholders, especially David Neeleman who will now leave his participation in TAP.
“David Neeleman will no longer be a TAP shareholder, but he was not only important for the company at the time, but was also important subsequently because he expanded our routes in the USA in 2019,” he said.
At the start of 2020, when the company released its results for 2019 and the pandemic was still confined to Asia, TAP recognised that the US market and routes to the United States were taking on a growing importance for the airline.