TAP in U-turn over BMW fleet

 In Aviation, News, TAP

TAP has now decided not to sign a long-term leasing contract with BMW for a new fleet of top-of-the-range cars following mounting political pressure, including comments from the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

At issue was not the decision to sign a new rollover leasing contract with the German car manufacturer for expensive cars for its board members which actually would have saved the company money in the long term, but rather the ill-advised timing of the decision as Portuguese families face a winter of discontent with spiralling mortgage repayments, higher food costs and soaring energy bills.
It means that the company, which has borrowed hundreds of millions of euros from State coffers to keep it in the air in return for a massive cost-cutting restructuring programme in which thousands lost their jobs, will retain the current fleet of Renault cars it has had since 2017.
Under the terms of the existing contract with Renault, TAP will have to hire a new fleet of cars next year because it can no longer rollover the current contract on the diesel cars because they are outdated.
It said it would “retain the current fleet for one more year while reevaluating (the company’s) mobility policy”.
The U-turn comes following widespread criticism at various levels after announcing it would upgrade its fleet for directors by long-leasing around 50 BMW cars at up to €65,000 per vehicle.
“The Executive Commission of TAP understands the overall feelings of the Portuguese and, despite the decision that it had taken on the fleet of cars which would have been less costly for the company under current market conditions, TAP will maintain the current fleet for a maximum period of one year while it reevaluates the company’s mobility policy”, states TAP in a communiqué.