LISBON – TAP changes route recovery plan

Portuguese flag carrier TAP said on Wednesday (27 May) that it would adjust the route recovery plan it had announced on Monday (25 May), after the company was criticised by several national authorities, including the government. The airline said it “is committed and will immediately collaborate with all economic agents, namely business associations and regional tourism entities”. 

This announcement came after Prime Minister António Costa said on Wednesday (27 May) that TAP’s executive board has a legal duty of “prudent management”, adding that the flag carrier’s recently unveiled route plan to resume a significant portion of its regular flights from June “has no credibility” because the government hadn’t yet unveiled its strategy to reopen the country’s borders.

You can also read up on how TAP’s request for government bailout panned out here.

Costa also said that “border management is the sovereign responsibility of the Portuguese state” and that the COVID-19 pandemic “has required and requires for an indeterminate period of time the imposition of restrictions on movements at land, sea and air borders.”

The PM also went so far as to say that he was “obliged to remind the Executive Committee of TAP of the legal duties of prudent and responsible management of the company”.

According to him, these duties are “not compatible with the definition, disclosure and promotion of route plans whose viability depends on the sovereign will of the Portuguese Republic in the management of its borders.”

TAP published its July flight plan for the next two months involving 27 flights in June and 247  in July on 25 May, most of which are from Lisbon.

This announcement prompted several criticisms, mainly from mayors in the North of the country, but also from tourism authorities all over Portugal and from several political parties.

“TAP’s objective is to resume its operations and to serve its customers with the aim of ensuring its future sustainability and to continue projecting Portugal into the world,” the Board of Directors said in its statement. (Alexandra Noronha, Lusa.pt)

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