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Portugal makes second attempt to sell national airline, putting 66 percent stake on sale

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LISBON, Portugal — Portugal's government is trying for the second time in two years to sell flag carrier TAP Air Portugal.

The government announced Thursday it intends to sell a 66 percent stake in the airline, with 5 percent of that set aside for its 7,500 staff.

Transport Secretary Sergio Monteiro said the government has received several expressions of interest in the airline, though he gave no details or price estimate for the stake.

TAP flies to 198 destinations, including 104 in Europe and 65 in North and South America. It carried 10.7 million passengers last year and returned a profit of 34 million euros ($42 million). Its debts amounted to 842 million euros.

In 2012, the government postponed TAP's planned privatization after the sole bidder failed to provide required financial guarantees.

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