The prime minister and secretary general of the Socialist Party (PS), António Costa, confirmed that “there are, fortunately, already other companies interested in acquiring” 50% of the capital of TAP, which the State intends to divest after restructuring.

“The company will be in a position to sell 50% of the capital as soon as possible and, fortunately, there are already other companies interested in acquiring it”, said António Costa, in a debate with Rui Rio, president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), within the framework of the legislative elections on the 30 January.

Confirming that the State will not inject more money into TAP, since “this was the guarantee given by the European Commission, which scrutinized the process and recognized the feasibility of the restructuring plan”, António Costa confirmed that they are interested in keeping half of the share of the capital in the national airline and took the opportunity to ensure that there is no reason to doubt the success of the plan already approved by Brussels.

Rui Rio, who was very critical of the way in which the current government conducted the nationalisation and restructuring process of the carrier, guaranteed that, if he is elected prime minister, TAP is to be privatised “as soon as possible”.

Rio accused the company of providing an “absolutely indecent” service even at Lisbon airport and of “not connecting anything to the rest of the country”, giving as an example a Madrid – San Francisco flight, in the USA, with a stopover in Lisbon, which costs “ 190 euros to a Spaniard”, while the Portuguese who take the same plane in Lisbon pay 697 euros.