Walsh eyes Portuguese TAP

Walsh eyes Portuguese TAP

International Airlines Group (IAG) chief executive Willie Walsh has revealed his group is considering a bid for rival carrier TAP Portugal.

TAP is being privatised by the Portuguese government as a condition of the recent bail-out of the country by the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“We are particularly interested in TAP because it has a very strong network into Brazil,” explained Walsh earlier.

“TAP is the number one player between Europe and Brazil.”

He added: “You can expect us to look at it closely because it is an opportunity that could add value to the group.”

Lufthansa and Air France-KLM have also been mooted as possible buyers for the airline.

A tie up with TAP would give IAG a strong position in key transatlantic markets.

IAG already dominates the North Atlantic through BA’s position at Heathrow, while Spanish-speaking Latin America is covered through Iberia out of Madrid.

In 2010 TAP Portugal was recognised as the World’s Leading Airline to South America at the World Travel Awards.

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