TAP A330-900NEO just arriving at Lisbon Airport. Photo: TAP Air Portugal.

MIAMI – TAP Air Portugal (TP) has negotiated payment deferrals with Airbus on 60% of its leased fleet as the carrier looks to sell eight Airbus jets and return others to lessors.

The European carrier achieved the deferment of most of the A320neo-family aircraft that it already ordered. It also postponed the arrival of two A330neo with the option of exchanging them for other aircraft.

Previously, a low number of A320neo-family deliveries was scheduled for 2021. Major deliveries would now be from 2021-22 to 2025-27. Regarding the two A330neo, their deliveries should take place in 2020; however, these are not certain until 2024.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline began discussions with lessors following a major grounding of its fleet. With this closed agreement, it reduced its 2020-22 capital expenditure by about US$1bn. During the first-half financial 2020 year, the airline recorded a net loss of US$682m compared to the same period in 2019.

TAP Air Portugal Airbus A320neo. Photo: Airbus.

Leased Aircraft Selling and Returning

While the carrier took delivery of one A320neo, one A321neo, and one A321LR, it said it would possibly sell other aircraft if demand continues to decline. These would include six A319 and two A320. In addition, TP ls considering the potential sale of aircraft under financial leases and the early return of aircraft under operating leases.

According to TP’s half-year financial report, it had a fleet of 61 Airbus including nine A321neo, seven A320neo, seven A330, 19 A330neo, and five A321LR. The airline also features 13 Embraer jets and eight ATR 72 turboprops.

Featured photo: TAP A330-900NEO just arriving at Lisbon Airport. Photo: TAP Air Portugal.