The President of the Republic warned Portuguese airline TAP this Wednesday that “a common sense problem”, following news of the purchase of luxury cars for drivers and drivers, called for restraint in difficult times. The airline’s management, in turn, guarantees that a process of renewal of the company’s vehicle fleet is underway, enabling annual savings of over EUR 600,000.
“I have spoken in the past with several public entities and with regard to the payment of dividends and with regard to salaries and I understand that when you are in a difficult period you should try to set an example of curtailment,” he said. this Wednesday fair Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The head of state reacted this way when he was confronted with news that TAP has ordered dozens of luxury cars for executive directors and top executives, a CNN Portugal investigation says these vehicles will replace the current fleet of airline vehicles.
In the opinion of the president of the republic, it is understandable that companies incur costs, but he defended that it is necessary to have “some common sense” when the country and the world are going through a “difficult period”. “It’s a matter of common sense,” he concluded in statements to journalists at the Palácio de Belém, in Lisbon.
TAP responded via an internal communiqué, emphasizing that the company “has a business fleet for the administration and management, under an operational ‘rented’ regime. With the option we created, we would save up to 630,000 euros annually if we kept the cars we have now.”
In the internal message, TAP explains that the current fleet is largely from 2017 and will reach the maximum possible extensions in the contract next year. “We had no choice but to sign new contracts, we opted for hybrid vehicles plug ininstead of the current diesel, for environmental reasons, but also because of the tax benefits associated with these less polluting vehicles,” writes the executive committee of TAP, headed by Christine Ourmières-Widener.
According to the company, “this option means a saving of more than 20% of the monthly rent and tax amount, related to new contracts of rent for vehicles with characteristics similar to the current ones (diesel), in line with the restructuring plan as it represents the lowest possible costs in terms of tendering on the market”, with “also better timeframes foreseen for the delivery of the vehicles”.
TAP also mentions that there are 50 vehicles at stake, for which a tender has been launched in the market, inviting six entities to participate in the Portuguese market. “The chosen proposal was the one with the lowest price, with a monthly income of 500 euros. As a reference, the other proposals submitted to TAP were with a more competitive price including a monthly rent of 750 euros,” it reads.
In the internal message, the company emphasizes that “the company’s decision therefore had a saving reason and at the same time fulfilled the contracts concluded with the managers, which included a service car”.
Union says decision is ethically and morally reprehensible
Also the National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel (SNPVAC) has already responded, defending that TAP’s fleet renewal is ethically and morally reprehensible, given that if it is not a sign of willingness to increase crew salaries, it is an “embarrassing” management act.
In a statement to members that Lusa had access to, SNPVAC notes that “it was with immense surprise and much embarrassment on the part of others that the unions, the workers of the TAP group and the Portuguese taxpayers were confronted with news that perhaps even have a far-fetched economic justification, but which is ethically and morally reprehensible.”
For the union, it is “unacceptable” that “in addition to TAP’s management, the guardianship also constantly appeals to its employees’ efforts for the survival of the company and that news of ‘small luxuries’ is spreading in a cyclical manner.” public comes”.
“We want to believe that this decision, involving millions, to renew the fleet by the administration can only bring good news,” the statement said, stressing that this “presupposes availability to increase crew salaries, accompanied by the rise in inflation”. “If this is not the case, we are dealing with an embarrassing administrative act, which will put the administration in an untenable situation,” he emphasizes.
The union also says that “it has no choice but to confront its own guardianship, which must question itself about the image being passed on to the taxpayer”, and wonders “how is it justified that an intervened company offers itself this luxury”. “We sincerely hope this doesn’t bode well for the awards ceremony in the near future,” he added.