LISBON, Portugal: Carsten Spohr, Chief Executive of Lufthansa, has said that as Portugal's government is still debating whether to sell TAP, the state-owned airline, it was premature to discuss the German airline group's possible takeover of TAP.
Meanwhile, Joao Nuno Mendes, Portugal's secretary of state for finance, said the government wishes to keep a strategic stake in state-owned TAP, and will not offer all of its shares in the upcoming privatization.
In a statement at the meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Istanbul, Spohr said, "There is still discussion in Portugal about how that privatization will take place, and it's not supposed to be 100 percent privatization," as quoted by Reuters.
Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and British Airways-owner IAG have shown an interest in acquiring TAP.
In May, Lufthansa announced it was taking a 41 percent stake in new Italian carrier ITA Airways.
The agreement was still waiting for the European Commission's approval, but once it was signed off ITA Airways would be incorporated into the Lufthansa group's global sales contracts to help it grow its revenue, Spohr said.