Ex-TAP director given €500,000 golden handshake sacked from government
An ex-director of cash-strapped Portuguese airline TAP who had been on a salary of €245,000 per annum for three years and who was awarded a €500,000 fat cat “compensation package” for leaving the company has been sacked from the Portuguese government. €107,000 of the ‘compensation’ referred to holiday leave not taken.
Alexandra Reis took home a €17,500 monthly pay packet after she had joined the airline in September 2017. She resigned her post and was appointed the Secretary of State for the Treasury after being highly recommended by the Minister for Housing and for Transport, Pedro Nuno Santos who has now chosen her to head the public air navigation and traffic control company NAV.
Last February, after fulfilling two out of a four year mandate as an executive director at TAP, Alexandra Reis resigned her post at TAP with a golden handshake pay out of €500,000 according to the newspaper Correio da Manhã in its 24 December edition.
The handshake amount or “compensation” as it has been referred to, refers to just two years in the job at the equivalent of two years salary at a time when the average salary in Portugal is around €1,200 per month after tax and while the airline is heavily indebted to the Portuguese State and tax payer by over €3Bn.
In June, just four months after quitting TAP, the new Secretary of State for the Treasury was appointed by the Government to run the air traffic control and aviation company Navegação Aéria de Portugal (NAV Portugal). TAP and NAV are both public companies under the Ministry of Finances at a financial level and the Ministry of Infrastructure at a sectorial level.
According to the newspaper CM, the amount of “compensation” was down to an agreement between Alexandra Reis and TAP”. CM was unable to obtain the amount of the payoff when it asked. (These are public companies under public scrutiny)
The Government has demanded an explanation from TAP about the “compensation” payout while the Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has expressed that idea that: “There are those who think it would have been nice if she had forgone the compensation”. In September 2022 TAP posted a loss of €91 million.