TAP CEO says situation at airports ‘should not improve in the coming weeks’

  • ECO News
  • 4 July 2022

Christine Ourmières-Widener says air transport, as well as its structure and complementary services, is facing serious global resource constraints.

The difficulties of airlines and handling companies at the airports, that led to delays and flight cancellations, will persist in the coming weeks, warns TAP CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener in a letter published on the company’s website.

“At this moment, we recognize that we are not offering the excellent service that we planned and that we want you to experience with us, given the crisis that air transport is going through and which, according to the most recent forecasts, should not improve in the coming weeks, as a result of the steady increase in leisure and business travel. For all this, we offer you our most sincere apologies,” writes the CEO in the letter.

“However, although restrictions on passenger mobility have mostly been lifted, air transport, as well as its structure and complementary services, face a serious limitation of resources at a global level, at a time when flight operations have passed from virtually zero to about 90% of pre-pandemic levels,” she justifies.

The weekend was marked by several cancellations, including TAP flights. The problems were exacerbated on Friday by the burst tyre of an aircraft at Humberto Delgado Airport, forcing the runway to be closed for several hours. The lack of handling staff at several airports and some strikes have also contributed to the constraints. In the case of the Portuguese airline, the operation has also been penalised by absenteeism among crew members, which is around 20%, according to ECO.

The problems were recognised yesterday by Christine Ourmières-Widener: “Due to constraints at several airports where TAP operates, including the incident with a private jet on Friday at Lisbon airport, many of the company’s flights were affected and, consequently, our entire operation.”

“This weekend was not easy for TAP due to various constraints. Only with the commitment and effort of the teams, both on land and in the air, was it possible to provide the best possible service to our passengers, take them to their destination and normalize the operation. Our thanks to everyone,” the CEO also stated in the letter published this Monday.