TAP made a trading loss of €85.1 million last year, an increase of €79.2 million on the year before, but the airline president’s salary followed suit and dropped from €420,000 to a mere €376,000.
Fernando Pinto arrived in Portugal in 2000 from his native Brazil with the mission to prepare the state owned airline for privatisation.
Fifteen years later that day soon may be upon us, but whether the company is in a fit state to be privatised is one of the questions only bidders can answer, should there be any.
Reading the annual accounts for 2014 reveals that Pinto also received over €85,000 towards the ‘cost of accommodation’ but that his mobile phone bill thankfully is capped at €9,000.
Pinto also benefited from €70,000 in social benefits, with social protection, life insurance and health and personal accident insurance all paid for by the company which is owned by the taxpayer.
TAP’s maintenance and engineering company in Brazil recorded a loss of €22.6 million which was a €17 million less than this lost the parent company the year before and reflects the emphasis on sorting out this troubled, loss making business.
In 2014, the overall loss was due to the late delivery of new aircraft, a ruinous 22 days of industrial action, and technical problems all of which cost the airline €108 million.
In 2013 the state airline made profits of €34 million and the government was delighted that ‘the value of the airline is increasing.’
The TAP group debt at the 2014 year end was €1,062 million, up slightly from €1,051 million at the end of 2013.
The government wants the new owner of TAP to ‘invest €1 billion,’ keep Lisbon as an operational hub, maintain at least a minimum service to Lusophone countries, and to be happy leaving the state with a golden share of 33% enabling Ministers to have a say in future strategy.
The main problem for the government is the low level of bids expected as the highly unionised labour force has shown that the workers are in financial control of the company.
There are nine separate unions to deal with, each with various agreements in place. This will be reflected in the price that taxpayers will receive.