TAP cancels 200 flights to US

 In News

Portugal’s national carrier TAP has taken a further knock this week as flights to the United States – one of its most profitable routes – have been suspended over the Coronavirus outbreak.

The measure, which comes into force today, came after the US President Donald Trump took the decision this week to ban all flights into and from the United States to Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom which is not in the Schengen area for a period of 30 days starting today (Friday).
TAP will see the cancellation of around 200 flights to the US market after already having cancelled 3,500 trips to Europe.
“We have seen drastically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe. The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travellers from Europe,” said Donald Trump in a televised address.
“We are at a critical time in the fight against the virus”, Trump said. “We made a life-saving move with early action on China. Now we must take the same action with Europe. I will always put the well-being of America first,” he added.
The decision to cancel flights has already caused strong falls in airline stocks on the stock markets, although TAP is not a listed company.
TAP has, however, grown in the US market in recent years. According to financial accounts for 2019, “TAP continued its strong expansion (in the US) in 2019, growing from 6 to 9 routes with the launch of operations to Chicago, Washington and São Francisco”.
In total, “The number of weekly flights to the US grew to 49 (a 63% increase), strengthening the relevance of this market for TAP”. In other words, TAP will have lost 196 flights within the space of four weeks.
With thousands of cancelled flights, a negative impact is expected on the airline’s accounts after last year TAP registered losses of more than €100 million.
Taking into account this embargo from the US decreed by Donald Trump for 30 days, TAP will differ an even greater fall in revenues and larger losses as a consequence taking into account the 14% share of total revenues that the US represents for the Portuguese airline.