Portuguese flag carrier TAP Portugal has signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian flag carrier Varig's corporate parent, the Ruben Berta Foundation, aimed at capitalising the South American airline.

The memorandum coversthe direct or indirect capitalisationof Varig – possibly leading to fellow Star Alliance memberTAP acquiring a 20% stake in the airline – as well as companies connected with the Brazilian flag carrier.

But TAP chief Fernando Pinto reiterates that a merger is "out of the question" and both airlines will "remain independent", although they will aim to "capture the countless synergies that may become real".

Source: Flight International