Information about flight TP1007 operated by White Airways

White Airways – a Portuguese airline flying ATR aircraft that has operated some short-haul TAP routes since 2016 – and TAP can confirm a White Airways captain working for TAP Express, who flew flight TP1007 from Madrid to Porto on 10 March, tested positive for coronavirus at the São João hospital in Porto that same day. 

The captain is in a stable condition and both TAP and White are providing all necessary support to this White Airways employee and the rest of the crew.

The TAP group’s health unit, UCS, immediately informed the health authorities and all relevant steps are being followed. According to the parameters set out by the health authorities and the technical nature of the aircraft, because the cockpit ventilation system is independent of the rest of the cabin there is no risk of contagion to passengers. 

As recommended by the authorities, the co-pilot and chief purser who worked alongside the captain on flights that day are currently in quarantine and are being monitored by the health authorities, which are working in association with UCS’s clinical services. 

The ATR 72 aircraft has been sanitised and disinfected according to the contingency plan, following which it was released by the health authorities and returned to service.

TAP’s priority is the health and safety of passengers and staff

TAP's priority is the protection of the health of its passengers and employees. It is clear to the entire TAP team that nothing is more important than people’s health and safety. It is therefore important to share with you all the work carried out in real time on a daily basis as the situation develops.

In addition to the rigorous hygiene and routine cleaning of our aircraft and workplaces, TAP has implemented additional cleansing and disinfection procedures designed specifically for the COVID-19 outbreak, using approved biocidal products in line with the guidance issued by the Portuguese Direção-Geral de Saúde (DGS), with the aeronautical safety specifications and guidance from aircraft manufacturers.

TAP aircraft are equipped with a vertical air recycling system that renews the cabin air completely every 2-3 minutes: that is, 20 times every hour. This vertical system operates across sections of 5 seat rows, which ensures the renewal of the air in all areas of the aircraft at the same time and with the same quality.

The system employs High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that are identical to those used in operating theatres. These filters successfully remove 99.999% of even the smallest viruses, including those measuring just 0.01 micrometres. The coronavirus family measures between 0.08 and 0.16 micrometres, and is therefore extracted by the HEPA filters in every section every 2-3 minutes. 

TAP crews receive continuous training in procedures to identify, approach and treat suspected cases of infectious disease on board, including COVID-19, and the necessary equipment and tools are available on all flights.

These procedures are in strict accordance with the best international practices, according to the latest advice issued by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the DGS. Staff communications and training has been significantly enhanced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as has coordination with the TAP Health Care Units (UCS) and with all those involved in the service to ensure your flight is safe.

Through TAP group’s UCS, the company has implemented the recommendations issued by the WHO and the European and North American centres for disease control, as well as those issued by the IATA Medical Advisory Group, with which the company has had a long relationship.

TAP is in daily contact with national and local health organisations, with the civil aviation and airport authorities and the company’s front-line staff: cabin crew, maintenance and engineering, catering, cleaning and other ground services.

The Portuguese airline activated its communicable disease contingency plan in January, and has been on a permanent state of alert since then and operated in accordance with the procedures in each case at all times.

TAP is able to act appropriately before, during and after the flight.