A Portuguese court on Wednesday ordered an interim suspension of national airline TAP’s privatisation two days before a key deadline in the process, a decision the government said it intends to appeal.
The supreme administrative court ruled that the decree allowing for the privatisation was flawed, with the government not having planned a bidding process for the financial evaluation of the airline.
Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced that the government intended to appeal the interim suspension, which comes two days before the deadline for final offers from the two candidates.
The two final candidates are South American business magnate German Efromovich and American-Brazilian airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, who founded Morris Air, JetBlue and Azul Brazilian Airlines.
Coelho said he will present “a resolution showing the necessity of pursuing” privatisation.
In May, Portugal was confronted with a 10-day strike at TAP that threatened to derail the government’s repeated attempts to privatise the airline.
“If the privatisation doesn’t take place, the alternative is a restructuring that will certainly include job cuts and a reduction in routes served,” Coelho said in May.