“[I hope] that the privatisation will be successful as soon as possible”, said Miguel Frasquilho, in the parliamentary commission inquiry into TAP, stressing that, if the State maintains a stake in the company, it must be “clearly a minority”.

During the three-hour hearing, which took place while the President of the Republic spoke to the country about the Prime Minister's decision to retain Minister João Galamba, who oversees TAP, Miguel Frasquilho, who was the airline's 'chairman' between 2017 and 2021, he reiterated that the alternative to State intervention in 2020 “was to close TAP”.

Questioned by the bloquista deputy Mariana Mortágua about the consultancy services provided to TAP, worth 1.6 million euros, by the former manager Fernando Pinto, after his departure from the carrier, Frasquilho confirmed that several “informal consultations” were made, by phone or physically on company premises.

“I myself was with him during that time, and Doctor Diogo Lacerda Machado was there more times than I was,” she said, adding that she did not participate in decisions regarding contractual conditions.

Regarding the pre-retirement agreement with former director Max Urbahn, which is being challenged in court by TAP, Miguel Frasquilho said that he was aware of that agreement, dealt with by the executive committee after it was signed, but that it had been a decision taken based on the support of TAP services and who assured him that “there was no problem”.

Questioned by communist deputy Bruno Dias about whether he was aware, at the time of drawing up the restructuring plan, that workers were being dismissed who could be needed when the operation resumed, as is happening, Frasquilho reiterated that the “horrible decisions” that had to be taken were based on projections from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) available at the time.

As for the Social Democrat deputy Hugo Carneiro, who asked about TAP's strategic plan from 2017, with the entry of David Neeleman, Miguel Frasquilho said that he thought it was a "well-designed" and "well-founded" plan. “The strategy seemed to make perfect sense”, he stressed.

The also former Secretary of State explained that Portugal's geographical position is privileged to access markets such as North America, South America and Africa and that the exchange of Airbus A350 aircraft for the Neo also made sense.

“From what I learned through, for example, the engineer Fernando Pinto, the A350 were only better in terms of use and more efficient than the A330, if TAP made flights longer than 11 hours. At the time, TAP only had two longer than 11 hours: Porto Alegre and Maputo”, he explained.

As for the operation in Porto, where TAP abandoned routes, Miguel Frasquilho said that, although the carrier has tried to meet the demands of the various regions, these routes needed to be profitable.

“TAP is not strong in point-to-point, it is strong in the 'hub and spoke' model [an airport distributes to other locations]. I think Porto is very important, it is in the north that the Portuguese business fabric has more weight, so TAP should try to offer the greatest possible number of routes from Porto, […] but a 'hub' does not work 300 kilometers away on the other, not even 600 let alone 300”, he pointed out.

For this reason, the airline even had to close some routes from Sá Carneiro Airport, because "from point to point, TAP will never be competitive with 'low cost'", said Miguel Frasquilho.