Portuguese airline gets OK for $2.9 billion recovery plan

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — European Union authorities have approved a rescue plan for TAP Air Portugal, which is getting government aid worth 2.55 billion euros ($2.9 billion) to help the flag carrier restructure its operations.

In return, TAP will have to give up some of its slots at Lisbon airport and sell off some of its assets, including catering and baggage handling companies in Portugal, the Portuguese government announced late Tuesday.

The European Commission also allowed the government to give the airline just over 100 million euros ($113 million) to compensate for lost business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has crunched travel businesses.

TAP has already laid off some 2,900 workers since last year.

The Portuguese state owns 72.5% of the airline. It has 96 aircraft.

TAP is part of the Star Alliance, a global airline partnership. It flies to more than 80 destinations in about 30 countries.

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