TAP’s chief executive, Antonoaldo Neves, will now respond to Members questions in Parliament after a summer of complaints and cancellations.
At the centre of the controversy is the public service to the autonomous regions, at a time when the regional government of Madeira announced that it would proceed with a lawsuit against the carrier due to disturbances in the operation.
In July, TAP noted that “there have been several constraints to the origin of the irregularities” and underlined “meteorological factors that have been worse this year”. These include, among others, the approximately 70 cancellations of TAP flights to Madeira between January and July, which, according to the President of the Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, affected approximately 10,000 passengers.
“Last year between January and May, 22 flights were cancelled for weather reasons. This year, in the same period, 139 were cancelled for the same reason. For TAP, more important than the costs of these constraints is the safety of its passengers, which is non-negotiable “, the company said.
In the list of problems that caused specific cancellations are the “works at Sá Carneiro [Porto] Airport, constraints at Lisbon Airport and air traffic control, also in Lisbon, air traffic strike in Marseilles, as well as crew shortages”, according to the company. In fact, this issue has been the source of many problems in the operation of TAP. The government itself reported “growing pains” in the airline.
The Minister of Planning and Infrastructure, Pedro Marques, also said in a hearing in parliament that the company is responding to operational inefficiencies, in particular by changing the “training process” of the pilots.