Travel alert: TAP suspends 93% of its international operations – Portugal
Posted on February 18, 2021.
TAP Air Portugal has announced the suspension of 93% of its international operations, from February 18 to March 30, on top of the previously planned 73% reduction.
TAP Board Chairman Miguel Frasquilho and Executive Board Chairman Ramiro Sequeira informed that given the new COVID’19 travel restrictions and “a further drop in demand,” TAP has decided to “Suspend 93% of the total of its operation. As a result, TAP plans to lay off 458 pilots.
It was also stated that TAP will maintain most domestic flights such as routes between Lisbon, Porto, Madeira and the Azores, and destinations with large Portuguese communities.
In the United States, the reduction will affect air links to Lisbon from Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, New York (John F. Kennedy) and New York (Newark) to Porto.
Despite the large capacity reductions, TAP will continue to operate other international routes, notably to France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain in Europe and Cape Verde and Mozambique in Africa.
The reductions in flights are the result of restrictions and quarantines in key markets such as Europe, Brazil, Canada and the United States at the time, air links between Portugal and the United Kingdom were suspended, as well as between Portugal and Angola, it was reported.
In a statement, the airline said that in addition, it will provide international air links to cities with important Portuguese communities, such as Newark, Boston, Toronto, Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia, Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Zurich, Luxembourg, Paris. , Nice, Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Milan, Rome, Bissau, Conakry, Dakar, Maputo, Praia, São Vicente and São Tomé and Príncipe. “
“We will provide flights on all routes where possible, in order to meet the mission of bringing our customers home, and we will seek, together with the Portuguese and foreign authorities, to carry out humanitarian flights. and repatriation, whenever necessary, ”they guarantee.
The carrier has also informed that all reservations made can be changed free of charge.
Merger of TAP and SATA Airlines
It has been suggested that the pandemic could bring a new vision to the aviation sector in Portugal and that a merger between TAP and SATA Azores Airlines would be beneficial for both public operators. The country does not have the size to have two public airlines. This would save on insurance, fuel and other operating expenses.
Airlines officials predict the recovery will be slow. However, “if the recovery takes place earlier than expected, we will have the capacity to respond to it, since we are adapted to the level of demand expected for 2022, as foreseen in the restructuring plan,” said TAP Director Ramiro Sequeira.
US citizens cannot travel directly from the United States to Portugal for non-essential trips such as tourism. Only Portuguese nationals, holders of Portuguese and EU residence permits and holders of other long-term visas issued by the Portuguese authorities can enter the country.
Among the new measures adopted to fight the pandemic, travelers are required to present negative tests on boarding, the imposition of quarantines, the ban on entry of travelers and citizens of the countries most affected by the pandemic , the suspension and prohibition of flights and compulsory confinements. For more information on travel restrictions in Portugal and the Islands visit the US Embassy in Lisbon.
PAJ / Staff / This story is under development and will be updated.