Written Question: TAP, Portugal’s national airline

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 3 March 2021

Question for written answer E-001251/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Nuno Melo (PPE)

Subject: TAP, Portugal’s national airline

On 26 February 2021, TAP wrote to the handling company SPdH demanding the execution of a promissory pledge over shares held by Pasogal, SPdH’s principal shareholder, to cover advance payments for services rendered.

TAP is barred from controlling SPdH under Article 22 of Decree-Law 275/99, which stipulates that a provider of ground-handling services at an airport may not be controlled, directly or indirectly, by either the managing body of the airport or an airline using it.

Since PORTWAY is wholly owned by ANA, SPdH is subject to independence requirements and cannot be majority owned by TAP.

In March 2009, when TAP repurchased the shareholding – 50.1% of SPdH – the Portuguese Competition Authority imposed (in decision P. C12/2009) measures to ensure effective market competition that specified that the deal could not be used as a pretext to facilitate, through any legal or contractual arrangements, any such buy-backs of those shares by TAP.

Directive 96/67/EC, which formed the basis for the Competition Authority’s decision, provides for regulatory obstacles to the partial nationalisation and control of the company.

  1. Does the Commission agree that this state of affairs is illegal?
  2. What stance does the EC take?
%d bloggers like this: