LISBON, Portugal (AP) - A senior Portuguese official on Tuesday gave the two bidders in the privatization of TAP Air Portugal three days to improve their offers, hinting the flag carrier's sale could be called off if they don't.

LISBON, Portugal (AP) A senior Portuguese official on Tuesday gave the two bidders in the privatization of TAP Air Portugal three days to improve their offers, hinting the flag carrier's sale could be called off if they don't.

The government announced last month it had accepted to consider bids for 61 percent of the state-owned airline from David Neeleman, who founded Brazil's third-largest airline Azul, and from German Efromovich, owner of Colombia's Avianca. The financial terms were not made public.

The government has been analyzing the bids and wants final offers by Friday.

For the second time in a week, Economy Minister Antonio Pires de Lima warned that the two bidders must improve their terms.

"It is very important for the two bidders ... to make a greater effort. They have to present better offers," Pires de Lima told reporters.

He said the government wanted to see improvements "on several levels," including plans to capitalize the debt-heavy airline so it can modernize its fleet.

The government hopes to complete the sale by the end of June though the deal would still need regulators' consent, which could take several months.

The government called off a 2012 attempt to sell the airline after Efromovich, who was the sole bidder, failed to provide required financial guarantees.