"TAP, in particular, despite having been forced to cancel numerous scheduled flights to and from third countries, has made every effort to, within legal and regulatory constraints, and despite the numerous practical difficulties, maintain as much as possible connection to countries with a greater presence of Portuguese and Portuguese descendants”, assured the Government.

These connections occurred "mainly for the Portuguese-speaking countries and for the United States of America", added the Portuguese executive in an answer to a question from the socialist deputies of the parliamentary committee on Foreign Affairs and Communities, to which Lusa had access.

In the document, the Government, through the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, explained that, in addition to the regular connections, “TAP has also organised 85 repatriation and humanitarian flights to countries with airspace closed to commercial flights, the that allowed around 12,000 Portuguese and residents in Portugal to return home ".

Underlining the restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, and the air traffic impacts, "mainly from and to countries outside the European Union and the Schengen area", the Government recalled that companies must ensure compliance with the various measures imposed by the markets where they operate.

In this scenario, airlines that, like TAP, operate long-haul flights, were "the most affected" and were forced to adjust their operation, "namely through the cancellation of most scheduled flights".

On the other hand, the demand for leisure and business passengers remains "extremely low, due not only to health issues - when the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates alarming contagious rates in Europe - but also due to instability” the document emphasises.

As for the projections for the coming months, the minister's office adds that "they are quite pessimistic", referring to the forecasts of several international entities in the sector.

The Government said that, as for flights from airports in Europe, particularly France, Luxembourg, Switzerland or Germany, "TAP was compelled to cancel some flights to European countries due to the marked drop in demand".

As for the refund policy for customers harmed by cancellation or cancellation of flights, the document emphasises that the airline "fully complies with the rules laid down" in European Union regulations.

The airline has adopted automatic procedures for processing refund requests using a 'voucher' and has organised a specialised team to process refunds in the form of payment for tickets.

Therefore, before the end of August, TAP had managed to process the refund of 844,684 orders, received between 1 March and 31 July 2020.