TAP Air Portugal will withdraw its two routes from London City Airport this winter, the carrier has confirmed to Business Traveller.
It blamed the cancellations on “uncertainties in customer demand associated with Brexit” and disappointing results in the market, but added that it would offset the lost seats during peak periods by using aircraft with larger capacity on its routes from Heathrow and Gatwick.
The Porto route currently runs on weekdays, with the departure from Portugal at 1140.
Lisbon runs twice daily with departures at 0655 and 1630 (except on weekends when it is unable to run a Saturday afternoon flight or Sunday morning flight due to London City’s operating restrictions.)
Both will end from October 27, 2019, a spokesperson for the airline told Business Traveller. Asked whether they might return next year, the spokesperson said there was “no indication that they will at the moment.”
Update: TAP has provided us with the following statement:
“Due to uncertainties in customer demand associated with Brexit and the lower than expected results in that market, TAP decided to suspend the operation in London City airport, partially offsetting the lost seats with the allocation of airplanes with more capacity departing from Lisbon and Porto to other London airports (Heathrow and Gatwick), during peak periods.”
London City told us:
“We are naturally disappointed that TAP Air Portugal will suspend Lisbon and Porto operations at the end of October, attributable to overcapacity in the London-Lisbon and London-Porto markets.
“Route churn is an industry reality, but we hope we may see TAP back at London City in the future, as their services were valued by many.
“In the meantime we’ll focus on re-distributing these sought-after slots with new and existing airlines and look ahead to a new Antwerp service from September, during what’s likely to be a record-breaking year for passengers at London City.”
TAP recently reported 4.8 per cent year-on-year growth in passenger numbers for 2019, with a particular increase on its North America routes.
It will launch three new routes from Porto this year, with Brussels flights beginning last month and Lyon and Munich beginning September 1.