Portugal: TAP studies possibility of “merger” with Angola’s TAAG and Brazil’s TAM

27 June 2008

Lisbon, Portugal, 27 June – Portuguese air carrier TAP is analysing the possibility of a merger with Brazil’s TAM and Angola’s TAAG, according to Thursday’s edition of Portuguese financial newspaper, Jornal de Negócios.

“This possibility is being assessed, bith by the chief executive of the company, Fernando Pinto, and by the Public Works Ministry, which is responsible for the company,” the paper said adding that the matter was being studied by the Assistant State Secretary, Paulo Campos.

The paper added, however, that “for now, the board of TAP has not yet made contact with either of the companies, but one of the alternatives for the strategic partnership between the three includes share swapping.”

According to the Portuguese newspaper, “na alliance between the three companies would bring obvious advantages to all of them.” “TAP would take on the role of anchor for flights from Angola and Brazil to Europe, allowing market penetration of other countries on the African and American continents. It is well-known, for example, that the national airline has interest in flying to Argentina.”

“TAM and TAAG would have an open door to Europe, and could substantially increase their intercontinental links. The model that is being studied includes the future Lisbon airport being used as a “hub” for the three airlines.”

TAP and TAM already have a code share agreement, which allows passengers, via one of the companies, to reserve tickets on the other.

However, TAP’s chief executive, Fernando Pinto denied that the company was looking into merging with TAM and TAAG.

At a press conference on the impact of fuel prices on the company’s accounts, Pinto also denied that the governments of the three countries – Portugal, Angola and Brazil – were involved in the matter, espacially as, he said, “Brazil’s TAM is a private company.” (macauhub)