“Today, following its in-depth investigation and comments from interested parties and from Portugal, the Commission has approved the proposed restructuring plan”, indicates the community executive in a statement, specifying that “the support plan will take the form of €2,550 million of equity or quasi-equity measures, including the conversion of the €1.2 billion rescue loan into equity."

The Executive Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Competition, Margrethe Vestager, stated that “significant public support will come with safeguards to limit distortions of competition”, as TAP “has committed to providing slots at the congested Lisbon, where it holds significant market power”.

Combined effort

The president of the National Civil Aviation Flight Personnel Union (SNPVAC) Henrique Louro Martins, told Lusa that the approval of the plan is a recognition of “everyone's effort”.

“We welcome the approval of the plan, although we still don't have in-depth knowledge of this plan, the news of the viability of the company is in itself is a great Christmas gift for all cabin crew”, he stressed.

“It is the recognition of an effort that we all made, union, crew and workers in general, to make the company viable. We are still waiting for more details on the plan but so far the news is great”, he said.

“Littler TAP”

"The European Commission authorises that, by the end of the restructuring plan, TAP may reach 99 planes, which was actually the amount that we proposed in the initial proposal", said the Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos.

"This is a very important number. [...] We have been hearing for many months is that TAP would become “little TAP” with this plan but the approved plan shows us that this will not happen”.

Impacts of the 18 slots

The Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Union (Sitema) says that the approval of TAP's restructuring plan is "an important step", but it wants to "better understand the impacts" of the availability of 18 slots.

In a statement, the union "congratulates the fact that the European Commission has finally approved TAP's restructuring plan", noting that "this is an important step towards restoring some of the calm that has been withheld from workers since the restructuring started”.

Even so, the union "awaits communication from TAP's management to its workers so that it can better understand the impacts of some recommendations of the European Commission on their professional situation", and says it is "especially interested in understanding the impacts for Maintenance Technicians of Aircraft of the provision of 18 slots'at Lisbon airport to other airlines".

The union also said that "it expects that, with the support of the European Commission, TAP's management can, without anxiety, take advantage of this opportunity to carry out a real restructuring, which maintains and values ​​workers and all that is good in the 76-year-old company”.

“From the perspective of Sitema, a real restructuring implies corrections at the level of the company's culture, corrections that allow the reduction of hierarchical positions that create a gap between workers and administration”.

“Although there are still situations that deserve correction, this is a moment we have been waiting for. From here, if we know how to take advantage of it, we are in a position to make TAP a source of pride for Portugal once again”, said Paulo Manso, president of the union.