Like the main international companies in the sector, Portugal’s flagship airline, TAP, is going through a critical moment in the current context of health and economic crisis, which translates into an urgent need for economic revitalization worth 1,000 million. In addition, two local circumstances are added that exacerbate the need for additional investment to suffocate its suffocating situation. One is that the sales model chosen three years ago is completely in question for which, until 2017, it was the only 100% public airline in Europe.
Time has shown that those who distrusted the operation that left the Portuguese firm in the hands of the Brazilian-American magnate David Neeleman, owner of the “low cost” Blue, who allied with the Portuguese businessman Humberto Delgado to shape the Atlantic consortium, were right. Gateway … whose solvency does not seem fully proven, if we take into account their numbers and their recurring requests for help.
The State of the neighboring country maintains the singing voice in the control of its management … and now it is in the position of having to deal with its disputed lack of success when making the transfer and, what is worse, a very high fair disbursement when the financial emblem of the Lusitanian land, Novo Banco, approaches 4,000 million euros at its request to avoid a bankruptcy similar to that of its predecessor, the Holy Spirit.
Thus, the new management of TAP was instructed to present a plan for the renewal of the different routes and gave the note this week with a flight scheme that barely covered the country’s second airport, Porto. In fact, it only establishes three regular flights from the venue named Sá Carneiro, just half an hour from the city center on board the tram.
The flag carrier of Portugal, TAP, is going through a critical moment in the current context of health and economic crisis
Controversy and outrage have been going hand in hand since similar intentions were revealed, as portrayed by the recent public appearance of the mayors of Porto, Viana do Castelo, Maia and Vila Real. All together they strongly protested the clear marginalization of northern Portugal, difficult to understand in the case of the most economically developed strip of the Portuguese Republic.
In terms of another scale, but it is something as if Iberia stopped flying to Barcelona, which explains the seriousness of a proposal so widely contested that the Prime Minister himself, the socialist Antonio Costa, has been forced to intervene in the controversy and he has asked David Neeleman to rectify to restore the cradle of wine as an essential airport for both departure and arrival. Various industrial sectors, from Coimbra to the border with Galicia, depend on a full-fledged reconsideration, so that Portugal is at stake.
The meetings (via videoconference) take place at full speed between the representatives of the State and the Executive Commission of TAP, in order to find a satisfactory solution, although for the moment Neeleman has shown little restraint with the country that provided him with a tray make the leap to Europe. The anger of the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, is capital with the team of the millionaire of dual nationality. Hence, he declared days ago: «TAP is trying to impose a confinement on Porto and the entire north. It never lost the prospect of being a colonial company and its structure never thought otherwise. ”
The management of the firm was renewed with the presence of Antonoaldo Neves, a confidence man of David Neeleman, who put 354 million euros on the table to take command of the company. His association with Humberto Pedrosa totals 45% of the shares, since 50% remains the property of the Portuguese State and the remaining 5% remains in the hands of the workers themselves.
It was planned to launch the Lisbon-Madrid airlift this spring, but the outbreak of the pandemic ruined all plans in this regard. In a second phase, the exploitation of a similar line between Porto and the Spanish capital was to be contemplated. .