DALLAS – TAP Air Portugal (TP) is operating a much-reduced schedule following the start of a two-day flight attendant strike which began on December 8. Three hundred and sixty flights have been cancelled. TP has stated they are operating “minimum services to eleven destinations including the Azores and Madeira island regions, plus scheduled flights to Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau.
The National Civil Aviation Flight Staff Union (SNPVAC) has called the strike as it demands higher salaries and improved working conditions. Talks are ongoing between the union and the airline, and more walkouts are planned for January 2023.
As part of a restructuring plan, the airline cut several aircraft from its fleet and nearly 3,000 jobs were lost. Those who remained were hit by wage cuts of up to 25% and loss of benefits.
A notice issued by SNPVAC said that its members are demanding the replacement of lost salaries and benefits. It also said that the airline had shown a “lack of respect” to its crew and the “more than questionable management decisions that end up having a direct and indirect impact” on the lives of its workers.
The strike is excepted to impact around 50,000 passengers and cost the airline around €8m (US$8.4m). In a statement, the airline said it is willing to continue negotiations with SNPVAC and has already accepted nine out of the 14 demands the union has made.
TAP recently announced record-breaking Q3 profits of €1.1bn (US$1.1bn), surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 7.5%. The airline, which is 72.5% state-owned, is in the process of privatisation with the International Airlines Group (IAG) and Air France-KLM Group mooted to be interested in taking a stake in the airline.
Featured Image: TAP Air Portugal Airbus A320neo (CS-TVG). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.