TAP staff appeal to government to step in and take control

Staff at financially-strapped airline TAP are appealing to the Portuguese government to step in and take control.

Only last week infrastructures minister Pedro Nuno Santos suggested the government was preparing a “large scale intervention” to wrestle the national carrier back from the brink (click here).

But prime minister António Costa has since said in interview with RTP that now is not the time to revise strategic plans. “

It’s the time to stop, hold on, look and then think when we have sufficiently solid data to predict the future”.

Mr Costa said his government is looking to Europe, in the context of what kind of ‘instruments’ (meaning financial support) may be coming Portugal’s way.

“We have a very relevant shareholding position in TAP, with distribution of powers established in a determined circumstance. If circumstances change, this relationship of power will also have to change”, he explained.

But according to the airline’s workers commission (CT) damage to the airline continues and could become irreversible.

In a letter addressed to Mr Costa, the commission stresses the “worrying context”, appealing to the government in the name of roughly 10,000 people on TAP’s payroll “to assume its responsibilities and take control of the company” before it is too late.

The CT makes “a series of accusations” against TAP management, wrote Lusa, alluding to “incomprehensible decisions” and the “inexplicable contracting of aircraft by a loss-making company created expressly for this purpose”.

As Pedro Nuno Santos affirmed last week, the situation at TAP was parlous before the pandemic. Now it’s many times worse.

According to CT, TAP is on course to declare losses this year in the region of 1.6 billion euros – and this could signal disaster on multiple levels, bearing in mind that the future sustainability of a “constellation of companies” depends on TAP’s continuity.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com