TAP with a 50% reduction in capacity during summer months

  • ECO News
  • 10 August 2021

The airline's passenger-carrying capacity is half of what it was in 2019, still a strong improvement on last summer's levels.

TAP is progressively recovering capacity and is now targeting a 50% reduction in the summer months from the levels recorded in the same period of 2019. A level well above 2020, but short of what was estimated in May.

“TAP’s activity has been developing, as forecast. The percentage of capacity (ASK) compared to the same period of 2019 is increasing, with the reduction in capacity already around 50% during July, August and September, a capacity in line with IATA’s moderate scenario,” the airline tells ECO.

ASK (Available Seat Kilometer) multiplies the seats available on aircraft in operation by the kilometres that can be travelled. This is why it is a measure of supply and not demand. Even so, it helps to measure the latter, since for cost reasons the capacity has to be adjusted to the expected occupancy of the aircraft.

The 50% reduction is below the prospects outlined in May by the previous CEO. In an internal “newsletter” to which Lusa had access, Ramiro Sequeira (now executive director) predicted that the capacity would gradually “increase to values of 34% in May, 49% in June and 65% for the months of July, August and September.

The figure released now is, however, in line with the latest data shared by the new CEO, Christine Ourmières-Widener. “Right now, we are resuming our commercial operation at approximately 50% of our capacity, compared to 2019 levels,” she wrote in a statement sent to the company’s clients in early July, shortly after taking office.

The 50% represents, still, a strong recovery from the summer of 2020, when TAP saw a capacity reduction of 88% in July, 75% in August and 72% in September.

In June, TAP carried 424,900 passengers, 16 times more than in the same month last year, but 73% less than in June 2019.