Number of TAP flights falls for the fourth consecutive month

  • ECO News
  • 24 March 2021

The number of flights operated by the national airline fell for the fourth consecutive month, according to a document TAP sent to workers on Wednesday.

February was another month in which the “downward trend” in the number of TAP flights and capacity was accentuated compared to the same month last year. As a result of the “worsening of restrictive measures” to contain the pandemic, the national airline reduced the number of flights by 89% and its capacity by 92%, according to a document sent to workers on Wednesday, to which ECO had access.

Given this scenario, on March 10, TAP adjusted its “capacity offer by 10% less compared to the operation published in January for the first quarter of this year, due to the impact of restrictions in markets such as Angola, Brazil and the UK [United Kingdom], resulting in a variation of 83% lower compared to the first quarter of 2019,” the internal TAP document indicates.

This downward trend was also visible in the number of flights “over the last few months”. “For the fourth consecutive month the number of flights has fallen, with February seeing a sharper drop,” the company says, noting that the overall average occupancy rate of its aircraft between October and December 2020 was 52%.

For the second quarter, “the projections are slightly more optimistic,” with the company estimating that the percentage of suspended capacity compared to the same period in 2019 “will gradually decline, with the figures down 61% in April, 58% in May and 45% by June.”

The same document said that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had revised TAP’s capacity projections downwards “in all scenarios, particularly in the short term”: down seven percentage points in March and one percentage point from April onwards. “TAP projects, for the coming months, a capacity in line with IATA’s moderate scenario,” it read.

For the future, “in the short term and in the moderate scenario,” IATA’s projection in terms of demand in markets where TAP operates points to a recovery of 63 percent of global traffic, 77 percent of domestic traffic and 55 percent of international traffic.