Portugal’s flagship airline TAP has revealed annual losses (for last year) of over €95 million, while its CEO Antonoaldo Neves has been telling the press that the Venezuela flight ban imposed earlier this week (click here) could cost the company at least €10 million.
All in all, it has been a bleak week so far for TAP, but the company has tried to put an upward spin on losses, which are just shy of €60 million more than the airline posted in 2018.
Reasons for the spike into the red lie in investment in the ‘renewing the fleet’ of aircraft, explain reports. If it wasn’t for the costs of this, results would have been a great deal better.
Liquid recovery for the second half of 2019, for instance, was 36% up on that of the previous year. The airline now has also expanded to 11 new markets, resulting in a new record for passenger numbers at 17.1 million.
But Venezuela’s decision to block all flights in and out of the South American country, as a result of TAP’s delivery last week of ‘would-be president’ Juan Guiadó in the company of his uncle, accused of transporting explosive material, has brought a new cloud onto the airline’s horizon.
Antonoaldo Neves told journalists TAP stands to suffer direct losses of €10 million – which he suggests is wholly unjustified as flight TP173 most certainly did not involve the transportation of explosive material.
Venezuela’s claims have been hotly refuted by political leaders, who insist they “make no sense”.
But the country’s 90-day ban persists, and this is TAP’s greatest concern.
Said Neves, the airline runs 80 flights a week from Venezuela to the United States. Flights in and out of Portugal number just two per week.
Says Dinheiro Vivo, since the flight ban came into effect TAP has had no alternative but to “redirect passengers who want to fly to Caracas to other airlines”.