Can Portugal's national airline be saved?
Portugal's partly state-owned airline TAP is facing bankruptcy. Unless the EU Commission approves a restructuring plan submitted by Lisbon, the airline will be liquidated, Portugal's Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos said last Friday. The national press still believes TAP has a future.
Airline just needs fuel to bridge the gap
Portugal's government must now do all it can to convince Brussels to rescue the company, Observador urges:
“One can debate at length about whether TAP should be liquidated, nationalised or neither. What is clear is that destroying a viable company is a mistake, and TAP showed in 2019 that it is viable and has a place in the global aviation sector. ... From this perspective the EU would only be helping the company to get through the pandemic crisis and then be able to continue operating on its own. A country like Portugal can't afford to let a company like TAP fall, and this has nothing to do with nationalism - the economy needs TAP. ... The government must be more skilled in negotiating in Brussels this time. It is incomprehensible that TAP is the only airline in Europe that is not receiving Covid support.”
TAP is dead, long live TAP!
The airline still has a chance to survive, lawyer Paulo Valério argues in Público:
“Insolvent companies can be saved. ... In this case, TAP's insolvency would allow for the orderly sale of all assets to anyone who wants to buy them, creating a new company - as fresh as a lettuce. There would not even be any major disruption in operations, especially since most of the aircraft are grounded anyway. From the proceeds of the sale, creditors would receive payments to the extent possible, as required by law. The exports, the GDP, and TAP's suppliers would continue to fuel the national economy. ... The news about the death of TAP is not exaggerated. But its business operations are viable and can be reborn without imposing another burden on our children.”