TAP has two aircraft, which it has converted into cargo planes, stalled awaiting certification due to a more "demanding and lengthy" process than initially planned.
Portuguese flag-carrier TAP has two aircraft, which it has converted into cargo planes, stalled awaiting certification due to a more “demanding and lengthy” process than initially planned, but expects them to start operating in the summer, an official source told Lusa on Thursday.
“The existing cargo capacity is not sufficient to meet existing demand, which is why TAP decided to convert these aircraft, which previously operated in the company for passenger transport, into freighters,” the company explained, adding that, “despite all the uncertainties in the market, forecasts indicate that demand for air cargo transport will remain high.”
According to TAP, “the aircraft in question are grounded due to the certification process of the new configuration,” and “the design and certification company contracted for the conversion is working with EASA [European Aviation Safety Agency] in this process, which has proven to be more demanding and time-consuming than initially planned”.
According to TAP, “it is expected that the aircraft will be certified and that they will enter service in the summer”. The aircraft were retrofitted in 2020.
TAP lost almost €1.6 billion last year, despite an increase in the number of passengers carried and revenues over the previous year, the company said in April.
In the information sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission (CMVM), the company also said operating revenues were €1.38 billion, an increase of €328.4 million (+31.0%) compared to 2020 operating revenues.
In addition to passenger revenue growth of €218.8 million, “this figure was particularly favoured by the increase in cargo and mail revenues, which increased by 88.0% (€110.5 million), fully offsetting the €13.7 million […] decline in maintenance revenues,” it explained.