Pilots' strike costs Portugal's national airline $39 million, days ahead of privatization bids

LISBON, Portugal – Portugal’s government says a recent 10-day strike by pilots at Portugal’s state-owned national airline cost the company some 35 million euros ($39 million), worsening TAP Air Portugal’s already “delicate” financial situation.

The airline recorded losses of 81 million euros last year and has more than 1 billion euros in debt.

The government is trying for the second time in two years to sell the company. The deadline for bids for a 66 per cent stake in the company is Friday.

The Civil Aviation Pilots’ Union is demanding to be given up to a 20 per cent stake in the company when it is privatized, as well as giving its members bonuses for long service. The union won’t rule out another strike after the 10-day walkout that ended Sunday.