David Neeleman: “We are growing faster than the airport”

  • ECO News
  • 10 November 2016

Portuguese airline TAP is expanding in several continents and the Portela airport, in Lisbon, must keep up with the pace, is what the shareholder of the airline advocates.

David Neeleman is “frustrated” with the airport in Portela and makes an urgent plea to the Portuguese government for the acceleration of the opening process of the new airport in Montijo (32 km/19.9 miles away from Lisbon).

“We are growing faster than the airport”, said TAP’s shareholder, at a fringe meeting at the Web Summit. “We must open more routes, connections, cities. We will be getting to many secondary cities in the North-east region of Brazil, USA and in some countries in Africa, but the Portuguese airport needs to do the same”, he stressed.

He once again emphasized TAP cannot “wait another three years” to open the airport in Montijo. “We must be quicker than what we are today”.

When inquired about his attempts to reach the Portuguese government with this plea, David Neeleman strongly states they have been doing their “outmost” and that he knows it is “not easy”. Nevertheless, he underlined “everyone – government, Air Force, ANA, TAP – has been working together”, because “the country needs economic development through tourism”.

“Governments need to understand airports are an economic pulse that must be stimulated – and not a place to withdraw money from”, Neeleman concluded.