The interview between the CEO of TAP and Expresso, which was published last Saturday, has intensified attacks by the Porto Trade Association (ACP) on the way the government is managing the Portuguese state aid operation for the company.
“Christine Ormeier-Widner’s statements reinforce the idea that this association has already expressed on several occasions, that the state’s involvement in the Tunisair program is a poorly managed process, and that it will not solve the structural problems that have made the airline, for decades, unworkable. Company,” in a statement sent to newsrooms, Friday, October 15.
In an interview with the Weekly, the CEO of TAP expressed his astonishment at the challenge being put to TAP, specifically by the mayor, Rui Moreira, and by the ACP, which has already been led by the mayor.
Christine Ormeyer-Widner said, warning in advance that “it will be difficult to launch more routes” from the port.
Reiterating its opposition to the intervention and restructuring plan submitted by the Portuguese state to TAP, which ensures that it “adheres to an irrational public investment strategy, which is contrary to the economic interests of the country and does not guarantee the company’s continuity in the future”, calls on the Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific Council It “must amortize the current tap”
Instead of TAP, he said, “a new airline should be created, which will protect existing assets and better serve the country, in line with choices made in other European countries, such as Switzerland (Swissair), Belgium (Sabina) and Italy (Alitalia), the latter case With the peculiarity of having now decreed the airline’s extinction,” he details.
For more than a year, the Council of African and Caribbean States has criticized the “irrationality that this TAP process represents, at the political level and above all in the economic sphere”.
In July last year, the association led by Nuno Butelho introduced a precautionary measure against a €1.2 billion injection into TAP, “which, although not approved, alerted the Portuguese to the need for further scrutiny of this public money request,” he says. .
More recently, the ACP sent a document to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, arguing that “the best solution to this process is the extinction of TAP and the creation of a new airline”.
ACP advocates the creation of a “zero base” company, which will preserve existing strategic assets – the “hub” of Portela and links with Brazil, the United States and Portuguese-speaking Africa – and ensure transcontinental routes from Lisbon.
And “in a complementary manner, with a view to ensuring the necessary regional balance”, it is also proposed “to provide support for the establishment of national and European routes at other Portuguese airports, duly managed by regional entities for external promotion”.
Moreover, the group “rejects any attempt to diminish its role,” considering that “the intervention it has maintained in this case, and which it has not waived, is subject to the provisions of its statute and the defense of the interests of its members.”
On the other hand, he concludes, “This follows a long tradition of enhancing airport infrastructure in the northern region, which is essential for the respective economic development.”
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