Portugal to privatise TAP, next year: prime minister
October 03, 2022
Portugal's government plans to return flag carrier TAP to private ownership next year, prime minster Antonio Costa has reportedly told parliament. Local newspaper Renascenca quotes Costa as saying, on 29 September, in response to a question on whether the government intended to privatise TAP within the next 12 months: "I hope so. That is what is planned." He was then asked whether the government would make a loss on the transaction, to which he replied: "I hope not. I believe it can happen. I can't guarantee that it will be so, but I hope not." The carrier has struggled since the pandemic, reporting a loss of €202 million ($198 million) for the second quarter. The Portuguese government took full control of TAP amid the pandemic in 2020, and has since provided it with €2.55 billion in state aid.
Italian government to push through ITA sale
September 30, 2022
The new Italian government led by prime minster Giorgia Meloni plans to move forward with the sale process for flag carrier ITA, having previously expressed doubt about the transaction. In an interview with online news service Affari Italiani, Maurizio Leo, an adviser to the new prime minister, says that any potential changes to the sale "are closed", implying that it will be pushed through as envisaged by the outgoing government. "Now we need to find the financial resources, we need flows to make it work," he adds. The previous Italian administration last month selected US-based investment fund Certares as the sole bidder for negotiations on a majority stake in the company. "The hope is that Certares will also accompany the interventions with an industrial plan," adds Leo. "Meanwhile, the state will have to put €400 million [$385 million], while the fund will have to put another €350 million. With this injection of finance, we need a serious project." The bid by Certares is being launched in conjunction with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM. The latter European group expressed an interest in taking a stake in the carrier over the "medium term". Although ITA has refused to be drawn on the sale process, it has said it sees its future embedded within the SkyTeam alliance, which includes Delta and Air France-KLM. ITA signed an initial one-year agreement with SkyTeam on joining last year, an unusual move as alliances normally insist on long-term agreements. ITA was launched as a successor to former flag carrier Alitalia in October 2021, having taken on much of its fleet, staff, branding and other assets.
Airlink to acquire 40% strategic equity in FlyNamibia
September 29, 2022
South African airline Airlink is acquiring a 40% strategic equity holding in Windhoek-based FlyNamibia for an undisclosed monetary sum. Through this venture, Airlink and FlyNamibia will support Namibia's National Transport Policy vision by providing affordable air transport, the South African airline says. The investment will accelerate Namibia's post-pandemic recovery and drive the expansion of airline services to, from and within the country, it adds. The investment is underpinned by a commercial franchise agreement under which FlyNamibia will adopt Airlink's "4Z" IATA designator for its ticket sales and scheduled flights, while retaining its unique corporate identity, brand and aircraft livery. It will also see FlyNamibia's inventory attaining higher visibility and being promoted on Airlink's computerised reservation system and on those of major foreign airlines which have partnered with Airlink. Airlink will also provide additional airline operations, technical and commercial skills training and development support for FlyNamibia. The changes will come into effect as soon as practicable, the airline says.