Portugal’s airline pilots’ union (SPAC) has apologised to the 42,000 passengers who are going to be affected by Saturday’s strike, but said there was “no other alternative” to avoid another “shameful” summer.
“We regret the impact it is going to have on their lives and we hope that the result of this action is a new posture to make TAP viable and without other summers like this (with so many flight cancellations), which is an utter shambles”, he added.
Even so, on Saturday, the company is expected to operate half its flights, considering the flights covered by obligatory minimum services, those by Portugalia (PGA) and by planes that have been chartered from other companies (with the respective crew).
The Portuguese arbitration court said return flights to mainland Portugal and the islands would have to be ensured, along with 11 connections to Portuguese-speaking countries or where there were large emigrant communities.
The SPAC said this number of minimum services was excessive, saying that this affected the practical effect of the stoppage, while TAP said there were too few given the company’s public service obligations.