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Portugal's TAP says Passenger Traffic Up 30% in First Half of 2023

LISBON, July 10 (Reuters) - Portugal's state-owned airline TAP carried 7.58 million passengers in the first half of this year, a 30% increase from a year ago but still slightly below pre-pandemic levels even as tourist numbers have already exceeded those seen in 2019.

Still, the state-owned carrier, which the government plans to partially privatise, said on Monday that intercontinental routes to Brazil, North America and Africa carried 2.17 million passengers in the period, 14.7% more than in the first half of 2019.

That, it said in a statement, "demonstrated the solid recovery of the company", although the total passenger traffic fell 4% shy of the same period in 2019 as the airline's flights within Europe, including mainland Portugal and islands - carried fewer passengers.

TAP is undergoing a restructuring under a Brussels-approved 3.2 billion euro ($3.51 billion) rescue plan, but the government wants to launch its privatisation as early as this month while intending to keep a strategic stake.

At least three major global carriers - IAG, Lufthansa, and Air France-KLM - have so far shown interest in TAP. The Portuguese airline reported a net loss of 57.4 million euros in the first quarter of this year, which represented more than a 50 percent drop from the loss in the previous year's period, due to increasing passenger numbers.

($1 = 0.9122 euros)

Reporting by Patrícia Vicente Rua; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Paul Simao

Source: Reuters

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