The Portuguese government on Monday called for a quick end to a strike at the TAP airline led by pilots who demand a 20-percent share of the state-owned flag carrier once it is privatized.
The first three days of the strike have led to losses amounting to over 10 million euros and the airline's market share has dropped to the "lowest level ever", Secretary of State for Transport Sergio Monteiro told a press conference.
The strike, if continued, will cost the airline up to 30 million euros, he added.
Starting on Friday, the strike is scheduled to last 10 days and end just five days before a deadline for investors to submit their binding offers to buy the airline, which is being sold under Portugal's privatization plan to help reduce the country's high debt load.
Monteiro called on Portugal's Pilots of Civil Aviation Syndicate to stop the strike, saying it is "better later than never."
"We still have time to avoid losing more than 20 million euros in damages and the indirect impact on the economy," he added.