“Considering that the conditions that made us adhere to this measure remain, namely the restrictions to the mobility of citizens from all over the world and the uncertainties regarding the resumption of activity, we will extend the period of ‘lay-off’ for a supplementary period of 30 days, until 31 May, according to the decree-law that regulates this matter”, informed the airline’s Board of Directors.
The air carrier also clarifies that employees will be informed individually about the modality that will be applied to them in the extension of the ‘lay-off’ and reiterates that “everything will be done to protect the jobs, health and safety of the TAP family”.
Currently, TAP has suspended its operation almost entirely, only maintaining flights to Terceira and Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, and to Funchal, in Madeira, mainly for repatriation flights and the transportation of humanitarian cargo.
On 2 April, the airline resorted to the simplified ‘lay-off’ programme, made available by the Government as one of the measures to support companies suffering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.
In a letter sent to the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) and signed by the carrier’s Executive Committee, on 20 March, TAP asked the State for guarantees for two possible financing operations, by Haitong and ICBC Spain, for a total of €350 million.
On 14 April, in an interview with Rádio Observador, the Prime Minister did not exclude the recourse to nationalise TAP, stating that there is “no reason to exclude any public action instrument that may prove necessary”.
“Regarding TAP, where the State is already a shareholder, we all know that the civil aviation sector has suffered devastatingly”, said the Prime Minister.
The “Great Confinement” has led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make unprecedented forecasts in its almost 75 years: the world economy may fall 3 percent in 2020, dragged by a 5.9 percent contraction in the United States, a 7.5 percent fall in the euro area and 5.2 percent in Japan.
For Portugal, the IMF predicts a recession of 8 percent and an unemployment rate of 13.9 percent in 2020.