International Airlines Group, the corporate identity of merged carriers BA and Iberia, may be lining up a bid to purchase TAP Portugal, according to a report in The Sunday Times.
The newspaper cites industry sources saying that informal talks have been held. The Portuguese government has been forced to privatise a number of national companies including energy firms and TAP Portugal, as part of the country’s bailout by the EU and IMF.
Brazilian airline TAM is also thought to be interested in purchasing the Portuguese flag carrier.
Back in January when BA and Iberia formerly merged, IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh said that the two carriers “won’t be the last within the group”.
“Our goal is for more airlines- but, importantly, the right airlines – to join the group,” said Walsh. “Today is the first step towards creating a multinational multi-brand airline group”.
Speaking at this weekend’s Advantage Conference in Madrid, BA’s head of sales and marketing UK Richard Tams reiterated these thoughts, saying that the recent BA / Iberia merger is “the first step to something much bigger”, and adding that the International Airlines Group is “creating a platform for greater consolidation”.
Our sister website abtn.co.uk was at the conference – for a full report click here.