Lisbon, Portugal, 23 March – Portuguese airline TAP plans to invest some US$1 billion in renewing its fleet of long-haul aircraft by acquiring 12 Airbus planes by 2015, the company’s chief executive said Wednesday.
Fernando Pinto, speaking at a conference in Lisbon said that the deal with Airbus outlines that TAP would provisionally buy eight A330 aircraft this year.
These airplanes, together with others that make up TAP’s long haul fleet will all be replaced by 2015 by A350 models, the new aircraft currently being launched by Airbus.
According to Pinto, the acquisition will be financed by bank debt.
The fleet’s renewal will begin this month with the delivery of three A330, costing between 160 and 180 million euros.
Speaking to the press Pinto also said that Tap would launch a fourth weekly flight to Angola’s capital, Luanda, as part of a strategy to increase its presence in that market.
Last year, TAP is expected to have posted an operating loss due to an 87 million-euro increase in fuel costs.
The Portuguese government recently announced that between this year and next year it would privatize TAP and list some of its shares on the stock exchange. (macauhub)