Portugal's PM wants Lufthansa to consider TAP dance

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Portugal's PM wants Lufthansa to consider TAP dance

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German airline Lufthansa should consider investing in TAP, Portugal’s troubled state carrier. So said Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho while on a visit to Germany.

Coelho told a German newspaper: “Lufthansa would be very well advised to develop the market in South America and Africa together with TAP” which is due to be privatised.

“I could imagine that Lufthansa is following our privatisation programme attentively in which TAP, too, is being privatised. Surely that would be a good investment for a German company,” he added.

Lufthansa declined to comment.

Its rival International Airlines Group (IAG) has said it would be interested in TAP for its access to the Brazilian market.

A few years ago, Lufthansa flirted with Spanish carrier Iberia, which later merged with British Airways to form IAG, to gain access to the growing Latin American aviation market.

Lufthansa generates only about two percent of its traffic revenue in that region.

But instead, Lufthansa went on a shopping spree ending in 2009 that added Austrian Airlines, bmi and Brussels airlines to its stable, expanding its route network in Europe’s competitive market.

The German carrier’s Chief Executive Christoph Franz earlier this week reiterated that Lufthansa will focus on organic growth for now.