Former owner of Avianca and the bankrupt OceanAir, businessman Germán Efromovich should be part of a consortium that will participate in the auction of the airline TAP Air Portugal, according to reports.
According to Jornal de Negócios, Efromovich is expected to join Diogo Lacerda Machado, former administrator of TAP, and businessman Mário Ferreira, owner of the companies Douro Azul and Media Capital.
The group should be formalized in September, when the Portuguese government hopes to disclose the details of the competition. The TAP auction is scheduled for the 1st half of 2024.
The largest Portuguese airline was nationalized years ago by the current government after a period in which it was controlled by entrepreneur David Neeleman, founder of carriers such as JetBlue, Azul and Breeze, in partnership with Portuguese businessman Humberto Pedrosa.
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Since then, consideration has been given to transferring the airline to the private sector, but the terms of the deal have yet to be clarified.
European groups such as Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and IAG are considered among potential competitors for TAP.
Germán Efromovich and his brother, José, became known for rescuing Avianca, from Colombia, from near bankruptcy, but years later they ended up being sidelined by the airline’s new partners after failing to repay a loan agreed with United Airlines.
In Brazil, the partners implemented the airline OceanAir, which later used the name “Avianca Brasil”. After an international expansion, the carrier began to delay payments to suppliers, especially aircraft lessors, which ended up causing it to lose its Air Operator Certificate (AOC).
Germán, however, has not lost interest in airlines. Unsuccessful in convincing the Italian government to accept his proposal for Alitalia, the entrepreneur launched Aeroitalia, a small charter airline that today operates regular flights.
TAP has always been a project of Efromovich, who made offers in 2012 and 2015, when he lost the competition to Neeleman.