CEO Christoph Franz says he will consider bidding for Portugal when the airline’s privatization process starts. Lufthansa is the second potential bidder after International Airlines Group that has publicly stated its interest.
The Franz comments , which came in an interview with the Financial Times, drew significant media attention in Europe. However, many industry insiders doubt Lufthansa will proceed with a bid, given its own restructuring and the problems with its current subsidiaries, particularly Austrian Airlines.
A decision on a bid for TAP also will hinge on the pending alliance decision by Latam Airlines Group, the airline created by the merger ofand Grupo TAM. According to industry sources, TAM is considering leaving and may not join Oneworld, so that it can keep bilateral links with existing partners that would have to be cut if it changed camps. Losing Star’s Brazilian member would increase pressure on Lufthansa and its European partners to secure access to Brazil through other channels. TAP is attractive because it offers more Brazilian destinations than any other European airline.