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TAP Air Portugal CEO Believes Airline Mask Protocols Will Remain Forever
TAP Air Portugal’s CEO believes that the mask-wearing policy that has been with us for almost two years could easily be here to stay.
Christine Ourmières-Widener, TAP Air Portugal’s CEO, recently shared her thoughts and predictions for the future of the airline and industry at large. Ourmières-Widener said in-flight mask-wearing, increased aircraft cleaning and checks of vaccine certificates could all remain in place.
“We are still very cautious,” she said. “We have put into place so many additional protocols […] I am absolutely convinced they will stay forever.”
Mask-wearing while onboard have caused a lot of chaos for airlines internationally. In the U.S. alone, thousands of unruly passenger incidents were reported to the Federal Aviation Administration last year, many of which were related to fliers refusing to comply with the mask requirements.
Currently, the mandate for in-flight mask compliance remains until at least March 18, 2022.
With travelers globally feeling more comfortable venturing out into the world after almost two years of a pandemic, Ourmières-Widener’s comments don’t seem too far off.
“The pandemic is about to be gone. The recovery will take time.” Added TAP Air Portugal CEO, Ourmières-Widener with optimistic hopes for transatlantic travel this summer.
In fact, TAP Air Portugal intends to fly 80 percent of its 2019 capacity in 2022. Other than Portugal, TAP Air Portugal has top markets in North America and Brazil. The North American locations for the airline include Boston, Chicago, Miami, Newark, New York (JFK), and Washington as well as Montreal and Toronto.
The airline also launched services from Lisbon to Cancun in March 2020, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic late last year.
The carrier recently received a lifeline from the Portuguese government after being on the verge of bankruptcy. The Portuguese government provided TAP Air Portugal with a $1.4 billion bailout in July 2020 which has allowed the European airline to optimistically prepare for a future of travel.