TAP CEO tells employees she wants to “move firmly” on restructuring

Christine Ourmières-Widener sees Brussels investigation into the restructuring plan as "normal". In a letter to workers, she says she wants to go ahead with the plan to make TAP viable.

Christine Ourmières-Widener considers a “normal step” the decision by Brussels to open an in-depth investigation to further assess the compliance of the proposed restructuring plan. In a letter sent to employees, TAP’s CEO reassures the airline’s workers, reiterating her commitment to “move firmly ahead with the implementation” of the plan to make the company viable. But she also warns of the challenges that the pandemic still poses to the business.

Brussels has validated TAP’s rescue aid of 1.2 billion, granted in 2020, which, therefore “will not have to be repaid”. As for the restructuring plan, Ourmières-Widener explains that this investigation “is something that is provided for in the formalities of these processes, which will strengthen the European Commission’s decision on TAP’s restructuring plan and limit the possibility of any future challenges”.

And “what does that mean for all of us?”, questions the CEO. “It means that we must firmly advance in the implementation and development of the Restructuring Plan with the aim of ensuring the sustainable recovery and long-term viability of TAP,” she tells workers in a missive obtained by ECO.

And moving forward in this process means being “even more focused on cost reduction and financial discipline, on opportunities to capture more revenue, on engagement with our customers and on mobilising our employees”. But this is in a context that remains challenging because of the pandemic.

“Covid-19 will continue to challenge our industry. There are several external factors that we have to manage, the evolution of the pandemic, the effectiveness of vaccination and our customers’ behaviour towards travel,” says the CEO.

“Nevertheless, we remain committed to overcoming this difficult period, to ensure the strict implementation of the restructuring plan, to clearly define our priorities and align them with the need to adjust our capacity and cost structure to the present and projected demand,” she adds, concluding that this will be done while fulfilling the commitments made.