TAP Air Portugal faces ‘challenging year’ despite record 2023 profit

TAP Air Portugal faces a “challenging year” despite achieving a record net profit of €177.3 million in 2023 as passenger carryings recovered to 93% of pre-pandemic levels.

The improvement over the €65.6 million recorded in 2022 came as operating revenues rose by almost 21% to €4.2 billion.

TAP carried 15.9 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 15.2% to reach 93% of the figures achieved in 2019. 

The total number of flights operated increased by 11% to reach 88% of pre-crisis levels. The airline ended the year operating a fleet of 98 aircraft. 

The carrier was at the centre of takeover speculation last year involving British Airways owner IAG, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.

But a plan for the sale of at least 51% of the Portuguese carrier initiated by the Lisbon government last September was put on ice following the resignation of the former prime minister in November and a snap election earlier this month.   

TAP said it will continue to implement a strategy “to transform into a structurally sustainable airline” by “continuously improving operations” in 2024.

Chief executive Luis Rodrigues said: “Strong 2023 results confirm TAP’s recovery path in recent years.

“Record revenues, surpassing the €4 billion mark, robust and resilient operating margins and a clear deleveraging trend, confirm the financial strength of the group.

“An increase in punctuality and regularity in the second half of the year underscores the organisational focus on delivering a better service to our passengers.

“Signing new collective labour agreements confirms the recognition and commitment towards our people.”

But he added: “2024 will be a challenging year that will test the organisational focus, for which we will need the commitment of all our teams to establish TAP as one of the most attractive companies in the sector.”

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