On Thursday, at a hearing at the Commission for Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Housing, in parliament, the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, said that the four routes created at Porto airport, to Amsterdam, Milan, Zurique and Ponta Delgada have “46% of the average capacity” and are “currently a loss for TAP”.
“Apparently, it is the four routes from Porto that are damaging to TAP. The routes from Lisbon will make a profit. The new Lisbon / Bilbao route should be a ‘must’ in terms of profitability and very important for a national strategy. Promote visits to Gugenheim Basque is ‘top’. But, Minister, this is good news “, quipped the Mayor of Porto, the independent Rui Moreira, in a post on his Facebook page.
Reacting to the statements of Pedro Nuno Santos, Moreira suggests stopping the four routes from Porto that cause losses and incorporating TAP into Carris or Soflusa.
“If it is the four routes in Porto that are at a loss, stop them. But please, incorporate TAP into Carris or the very profitable Soflusa. We don’t care, we will find a solution. For Lisbon it’s great: stay with TAP, which, without prejudice to Porto, is no longer a waste “, reads in the same publication entitled” The good news of TAP “.
And he added: “For the rest of the country – for the province in which we happily include ourselves – it is wonderful, because TAP no longer costs us money”.
In the parliament, the minister also revealed that the strengthening of the TAP Express / Portugalia fleet is being studied to operate from Porto and Faro to other airports in Europe, in “point-to-point connections”, to try to make TAP be ” more competitive “, particularly vis-à-vis low-cost airlines.
In the future, “we want a sustainable TAP that can maintain its strategy as a ‘hub’ and reinforce it on a point-to-point basis,” said the minister, stressing that it is being assessed whether it is possible to combine the two strategies.
Pedro Nuno Santos also announced, in the parliament, that 1,600 workers of the TAP group will leave by the end of the year, having already left 1,200 employees.
“We cannot artificially maintain a dimension that does not have accession to the market in which we are currently operating,” he explained, stressing that this “implies that in the restructuring process the company is resized”.
“We cannot keep a job that afterwards has no work”, he concluded.
As for the restructuring plan for the company, which is being prepared by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the minister stressed that the final decision rests with the shareholders and that this work is advisory.