TAP is reviewing contract with David Neeleman’s JetBlue

  • ECO News
  • 15 September 2021

Christine Ourmières-Widener says Portugal's flag carrier is reassessing partnerships and routes. Flying to Porto Santo in winter is not sustainable.

TAP is reviewing the commercial contract with David Neeleman’s JetBlue, signed when the Brazilian businessman was the airline’s main private shareholder, the CEO of Portugal’s flag carrier said in Parliament. Partnerships and routes are being evaluated “on a case by case basis” to assess sustainability and potential.

Christine Ourmières-Widener was questioned by MP João Cotrim de Figueiredo about the contract with David Neeleman’s company. “We have an agreement that we are reviewing,” replied the CEO of TAP, who noted there was “a close relationship with JetBlue”. “We want to be proactive and increase revenue,” she added.

The CEO also said that the company is evaluating partnerships that allow it to work with new markets and opportunities to open new routes, such as Punta Cana or Cancun. But profitability and sustainability are also being looked at on a “case by case” basis. Some point-to-point flights in Europe may not even be profitable but may compensate if they serve the transatlantic flights from the Lisbon hub.

“Economic criteria” was the justification given by TAP for not flying to Porto Santo during the winter. Asked about Porto, Christine Ourmières-Widener said that TAP would once again connect Sá Carneiro airport to Brazil and New York.

Christine Ourmières-Widener was heard in a session on Tuesday afternoon of a committee set up by parliament to monitor the implementation of measures to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and to foster economic and social recovery.