The national carrier of Portugal, TAP Air Portugal, will operate its entire fleet in the summer of 2019.
Christine Ourmires-Widener said that they were lucky to have one of the youngest fleets. Suppliers are also having discussions with us. We spend a lot of time with our partners.
Rolls Royce is one of the partners. In November of last year, the first airline to operate the A330-900 with the Trent 7000 engine was TAP.
One issue with the A330-900 is its reliability. Ourmires-Widener said that they are struggling with some programs on the RollsRoyce engine. There is an issue with the availability of the A 330-900.
The A330neo is a great product. She said that they are working with Rolls-Royce and other companies to make the aircraft more available. The program of improvement of these engines will be dependent on how we manage it. We are talking with Rolls-Royce about what we need to do.
There are trunk routes from Lisbon to North and South America. The type has been put to use on two new routes.
She said that they are still receiving A321LRs and that they operate 96 aircraft. There should be at least two more A321LRs in the near future. There are at least 10 A321neo and 11 A320neo aircraft in operation at the moment.
Ourmires-Widener said that they are looking at what kind of destinations the A321LR could serve. The capacity of the A321LR is a key part of the airline's plan to rebuild its network.
She said that the A321LR gives them the chance to reach east coast destinations in North and South America with them. There are destinations to the south across Africa.
Portuglia Airlines, which is part of the TAP Express brand, is getting second-hand E190/195 E1s. There are eight ATR 72-600s in use.
According to Ourmires-Widener, the size of the aircraft is ideal for feeding the Lisbon hub. Nine E190-E1s and four E195-E1s will soon be added to the total. Second-hand E1s will be added to the fleet. She said that the E1 is the correct size.
The importance of the Embraer jets is due to the fact that not all of the routes are large enough to support an A320.
There is only one limitation this year, that is the fleet. Our aircraft is being flown a lot. Ourmires-Widener said that they are looking at how to reinforce their organizational setup to make sure they are doing everything when an aircraft is out of commission.
The passenger carriers have been modified into freighters. Ourmires-Widener said that they are on the ground because they are not certified yet.
The company is looking for new opportunities in Brazil and Africa.
One of the airline's long standing traditional overseas markets is Brazil. The international airline for Brazil is calledTAP. The market can change quickly. Ourmires-Widener said that the two domestic airlines were important to them. Brazil is a strategically important market.
There are certain facts that must be kept in mind while traveling to Brazil. Presidential elections in Brazil are to be held by the end of 2022. The potential devaluation of the Brazilian Real could be critical to the future of the company. Ourmires-Widener said thatTAP has a close relationship with the government. We have a new general manager in Brazil.
There are eight destinations in eight countries across sub-Saharan Africa served by Star Alliance member TAP. Africa has been the most reliable market during the crisis according to Ourmires-Widener. With more airlines looking for new markets, other airlines are looking for a bigger footprint in Africa. She said that people always underestimate what Africa means from an operational standpoint for an airline.
The African market needs to be expanded further. Ourmires-Widener said that there are some routes which are successful. We are in talks with a number of countries to get ready for summer 2023.
Luanda, the capital of Africa, is one of the most important destinations. Ourmires-Widener said they are looking to increase the route. There are elections in September as well. She said that African countries will have new plans. She said that they would like to be part of it. Expansion plans may be hard due to a lack of slots. The carriers safety and security teams are involved in Africa. The CEO said that they would consider the opportunities if they happened.
Ourmires-Widener emphasizes the geographical position of TAP, as well as a more southern hub. She said that it should be even more connected to Africa because it is ideal as a hub for North and South America.