The long-awaited sale of the Portuguese airline TAP took another step forward when the country’s government gave the go-ahead to the privatisation. Portugal stressed, however, that it would prefer a buyer who maintains TAP’s flag-carrier status. The sale is part of an agreement for an EU/IMF bailout for the debt-ridden country. Lufthansa has previously expressed an interest in the sale.
"It is a branding issue to keep a Portuguese brand in the market here and in Portuguese-speaking countries”, a spokesman for the airline said. "It's not a legal issue; all landing rights will go with the company to the buyer."