- STP Airways, São Tomé and Príncipe's air career, which has been grounded for almost a year due to lack of aircraft, will relaunch its flights to Europe within 90 days, the company's Chairman, Felisberto Neto told journalists.
A ban on Angolan airline, Taag, from flying in European airspace in July 2007 had forced the STP to suspend bi-weekly flights to Lisbon, Portugal. Without a aircrafts, the national carrier relied solely on Taag to run its routes.
The national carrier's officials were optimistic that the company's signing of a new agreement partners - Euro-Atlantic of Portugal, Angola's Banco Equador and GIAS, a private hotel management company - would pave way for the normalization of air transport business in the country. STP will begin operations 90 days after the agreement was signed, its Neto confirmed.
With a capital of an estimated US $2 million, STP's management rests with Euro-Atlantic, which controls 37% stake while the Banco Equador and GIAS get 14%.
Without a single aircraft at hand, TAAG soon forged a partnership with Portugal's TAP and started operations in February last year. It uses a TAAG Boeing 737-700. A re-launch of direct flights to Europe with the use of Euro-Atlantic fleets automatically loosens TAP-Air Portugal's control over the archipelago's air route.
In May 2008, Euroatlantic announced establishing a pre-agreement with São Tomé and Principe authorities that allowed the tourist group Pestana and the Metello family-owned company to hold a little more than the government's shares of STP.
The Chairman of Euroatlantic, Tomaz Mello, said chartered flights to São Tomé and Principe would soon resumed.
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