TAP cancels 1000 flights as Coronavirus starts to bite business
Portuguese national airline carrier TAP has announced the cancellation of 1000 flights between March and April because of a falloff in demand.
The announcement comes after a small British domestic flights airline – Flybe – went into administration for the same reason on Thursday.
This month TAP registered losses of €116 million and ratings agency Standard & Poors has classified its value at ‘junk’ investment status.
The flights that have been cancelled are ones that have a lesser demand and whose frequency will be reduced because of the Coronavirus.
The virus has already infected 95,000 worldwide – most in China – with nine confirmed cases in Portugal as of Thursday.
“The turnover of bookings for March and April have shown a significant fall in demand in comparison to last year”, states a communiqué.
“This strong contraction in demand has forced TAP to proceed with the immediate cancellation of flights with less demand, reducing capacity by 4% in March and 6% in April which represents a total of around 1000 flights”, states TAP.
The Company headed by Antonoaldo Neves has set up a contingency plan which has led to the cancelling of lesser-demand flights. This will particularly effect TAPs services to cities in the most affected regions such as Italy but also Spain and France and will include some intercontinental flights “given TAP’s operational model as a long course and onward connection flights company.”
TAP states in the same communiqué that it will contact affected passengers to “fine them the best options and alternatives for undertake the same journeys.
In addition to the cancellations, the airline is also taking other adjustment measures to the impact the outbreak is having on revenues, including suspending non-urgent investments, cutting costs and suspending new contracts.