TAP in hot water

in News · 29-05-2020 01:00:00 · 10 Comments

TAP airline, the flag carrier for Portugal, has announced its new schedule for the coming months amid scathing criticism from the government, the president and business associations.

The airline announced that they would be operating 27 weekly flights in June and then 247 flights in July, the majority being from Lisbon.
Criticism has been heaped on TAP mainly due to the fact that the government are yet to announce the opening of the borders in Portugal and the heavy focus on Lisbon flights to the detriment of the other regions of the country.
Prime Minister António Costa has denounced the schedule launched by TAP and stated that the company has a legal duty of “prudent management” while it “lacks credibility” to launch a route plan without prior information on the strategy for reopening borders from Portugal, something that has yet to be officially announced by the government.
Costa stressed that “border management is the sovereign responsibility of the Portuguese State” and that the current Covid-19 pandemic “demanded and requires for an indefinite period of time the imposition of restrictions on circulation at land, sea and air borders”.
“There is no credibility in any route plan defined by TAP without prior information on the strategy for reopening borders defined by the Portuguese Republic”, stressed the Prime Minister.
António Costa said he was “obliged to remind the Executive Committee of TAP of the legal duties of prudent and responsible management of the company”.
This set of legal duties in the management of the national air carrier, according to the Prime Minister, “is not compatible with the definition, dissemination and promotion of route plans whose viability depends on the sovereign will of the Portuguese Republic in management of its borders“.
Earlier in the week President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said that “he follows the concern expressed by several political parties and mayors regarding TAP’s route recovery plan, particularly with regard to Porto”.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa made his statement following criticism from political parties that the new schedule was composed mainly of flights connecting to Lisbon and not to other parts of the country.
This plan was criticised by the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, and mayors of municipalities such as Gondomar, Valongo and Vila Real and by leaders of the PS, PCP and BE, among others.
Rui Moreira accused TAP of “imposing confinement on Porto and the North”, adding that with this route plan the airline “leaves the country, because being only in Lisbon means leaving the country”.
Also at a press conference, the deputy general secretary of the PS, José Luís Carneiro, challenged TAP to correct the schedule that has been made public, considering that the decision of the airline’s executive committee to reduce flights and destinations “damages the national interest”.
The PSD president, Rui Rio, considered that TAP is assuming itself as a regional air carrier, confined to the former province of Estremadura, which is why it cannot have the support usually given to a national strategic company.
“If that is the case, as TAP says, then we are not dealing with a national company, but with a regional company, more or less confined to the former province of Estremadura, greater Lisbon. A company that does not respond to Faro airport, from Funchal, Ponta Delgada and Porto as it should be, then it is not a national company, but a regional one “, claimed the PSD president.
Rui Rio, ex-mayor of Porto, later argued that “a regional company cannot have the support that a company that is strategically important for the country as a whole” has.
“If TAP understands that it should only serve an airport, I think it has set itself aside in relation to being a national company. This is clear to me,” added the social-democratic leader.
The Business Association of Portugal (AEP) has also criticised TAP’s flight resumption plans, accusing the company of “not looking at the country as a whole” and challenging the Government “to offer support only if the company adopts another strategic option”.
“In doing so, TAP is not earning the country’s commitment and the State’s commitment. The Government must demand from TAP that in order to receive any support it must be a national airline and must consider the country as a whole and must have a strategic option that looks at the country’s interests “, said the president of AEP, Luís Miguel Ribeiro.
The official considered that “there is no point in maintaining TAP at any cost or at a very high cost” if it “does not give the country the necessary service” and shows “commitment”.
For Luís Miguel Ribeiro “at a time like this when the difficulties caused by this pandemic situation are known”, this recovery plan shows that TAP “is providing a bad service to the country”.
“If at a time like this when companies are experiencing enormous difficulties, a national flag company, in which the Portuguese State has 50 percent of the share capital, if it is not on the side of companies and the country, it is providing a bad service to the country”, said the president of AEP, stressing that “mobility is a very important factor in the competitiveness of companies”.


Yes John, you have a lot of "friends"...as my mother used to say, "Misery loves company..."

By William from Other on 01-06-2020 05:12

My dear friends, I really hope that you do not expect any logic behind any of the measures taken or plans made. If TAP refunded you, there would not be a TAP anymore. TAP as practically bankrupt before Corona and about to be sold to Lufthansa.

By John Dough from Lisbon on 01-06-2020 09:16

I phpne them friday to cancell my fligjt as my grandaugjtets wedding has been cancelled in the UK due to COVID-19.it wS a flexi ticket abd I paid e tra for a cancellation clause.my husband and I are very high risk and am still self isolating,I am a third time cancer patient undergoing tratment and my husband has heart problems he has had 4 operations,he is also diabetic type 2.they told me I was not entitled to a refund abd would have to use our tickets before the end of This December or loose our money we are heart broken as we had saved hard last year as we only have a basic UK pension.it is disgusting we were also booked to go to Holland thus july to our other grandaughters wedding and were booked with TRANSAVIA they have been amazing and have helped us to transfer our tickets at no cost to next year. TAP needs kicking into touch we will never use them again and are contacting our solicitor on monday .sincerely Margaret Stephenson

By Margaret Stephenson from Other on 31-05-2020 11:49

TAP still owes me a refund for my 18 March flight that it canceled! I wish the government would pressure them to process the refunds!

By Jules from USA on 30-05-2020 08:42

6 family members have paid return flights from Boston to Lisbon for August 28-8 September 2020. Due to COVID, TAP should communicate with booked passengers (It is extremely difficult to make contact with them) their policy, as passengers returning to jobs, vacation schedules, hotel reservations and cancellations, are also at stake. So far, TAP’s only response is to keep calling back! We have requested an extension for a year, as we want to visit Portugal at its peak time.

By Janet Kalkbrenner from USA on 29-05-2020 11:47

This seems kinda bipolar. First they complain that they announced the schedule of flights because borders are not open yet, just to criticise them in the next step that they are focusing on Lisbon in the first month.
While I understand that more airports should be available. What hasnt been asked is why they focus on Lisbon for now. Maybe its a cost thing or they have data suggesting that Lisbon has a higher demand. It doesnt mean that it will stay that way but I think with things being what they are, there should be a bigger focus on what is a smarter way to resume a flight schedule and then extend it rather to make a big stink and pulling people/companies through the mud. I also think that just because you fly to lisbon doenst mean you have to stay there. If you want to go to Porto there will be a way to get there...

By Isabelle from Algarve on 29-05-2020 01:19

I had a flight booked direct from Faro to Boston. It was cancelled and re-routed and cancelled again. TAP has owed me a refund of $505 since March 30. It is now May 29 and they have still not refunded my money. I am a disabled senior citizen and am now not going to be able to go home (US) until 18 AUGUST, and that is from Lisbon, making it supremely difficult because I cannot walk well and have much luggage and a support dog

By Fiona Cortland from Algarve on 29-05-2020 01:06

I don't understand why people are making a fuss about TAP not serving Faro. TAP withdrew from Faro and made Lisbon their hub years ago. There were just a couple of Faro Lisbon feeder flights a day. Porto, that I understand, TAP had many flights from and to Porto

By jOHN from Algarve on 29-05-2020 10:02

Not only are TAP arbitrarily opening new routes they are also flouting EU flight compensation rules. I had flights booked with TAP which they cancelled, no notification and no recompense of any kind. As flight was booked as package with hotel, the hotel needs to be cancelled but has no refund policy, so TAP actions have cost me over 1000eu. Terrible!

By Matthew from Other on 29-05-2020 09:41

At the same time the government let`s in hundreds of Brazilians from one of the worst Corona hotspots of the world into the Portugal without any control at the airports as they arrive via Frankfurt or other EU cities.

By Erik from Algarve on 29-05-2020 08:14
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