HomeTravel NewsAirline Consolidation: Air France-KLM Boss Eyes Portugal's TAP

Airline Consolidation: Air France-KLM Boss Eyes Portugal’s TAP

Air France-KLM remains interested in buying TAP Air Portugal, according to the Franco-Dutch giant’s chief executive.

Ben Smith, Air France-KLM’s chief executive, said – on the back of a strong set of financial results for the group – that Air France-KLM is interested in the soon to be privatised TAP.

Aer Lingus and British Airways owner IAG has also been linked with a move for TAP.

Air France-KLM has said it has “turned the page” on the Covid disruption after posting a €504m net profit for its fourth quarter, compared to a loss for the same period last year. The airline group also expects to exit the state aid, prompted by the Covid crisis, it has carried later this year and return to full pre-pandemic passenger capacity levels.

TAP, meanwhile, said its performance visibility is low for the next year despite recently posting a rare profit for its third quarter.

Many industry figures – including Irish-founded aircraft leasing firm Avolon, and Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary – have forecast a period of consolidation within the aviation industry, as a result of the post-Covid rebalance.

“We are definitely, post-Covid, entering a four or five-year period of consolidation,” Mr O’Leary recently said; having previously suggested EasyJet could be taken over by British Airways or Air France-KLM, or both as a joint-venture.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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