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TAP Portugal
Founded 1945
Hubs Lisbon Portela Airport
Focus cities Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport, Madeira Airport
Frequent flyer program Victoria
Member lounge Top Executive Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance
Fleet size 74 (+12 orders)
Destinations 65
Company slogan Fly higher. (Voa mais alto.)
Parent company TAP Portugal
Headquarters Lisbon, Portugal
Key people Fernando Pinto (CEO)
Douglas DC-4 of TAP arriving at London Heathrow Airport from Lisbon in 1954
Boeing 727 with classic livery 1950s-1979
Airbus A321-200 with former livery 1979-2005
Airbus A320-200 taking off

TAP Portugal, commonly known as TAP, is the national airline of Portugal. It has its head office in Building 25 on the grounds of Portela Airport in Lisbon,[1] and has been a member of the Star Alliance airline alliance since 14 March 2005, the same day on which the company celebrated its 60th anniversary. Its hub in Lisbon is a key European gateway at the crossroads of Africa, North America and South America. TAP's route network comprises 65 destinations in 30 countries worldwide. TAP operates over 1,600 weekly flights with a fleet of 53 Airbus aircraft, and 16 further aircraft servicing regional subsidiary carrier Portugalia.



The airline was founded on 14 March 1945, beginning commercial service on 19 September 1946, from Lisbon to Madrid with a Douglas DC-3 under the name Transportes Aéreos Portugueses (TAP). On 31 December that year, TAP began its Linha Aérea Imperial, a twelve-stop service including Luanda, Angola and Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique.

In 1947, domestic services commenced from Lisbon to Porto as well as from São Tomé to London. Four Douglas DC-4 Skymasters were bought in 1947, remaining in service until 1960. These were used on the routes to Africa and to major European destinations including London. TAP began service to Tangier and Casablanca in 1949. In 1953, the airline became a private company.

The one-millionth passenger flew on TAP on 19 June 1964, 18 years after the airline began operations. In 1969, service to New York via Santa Maria Island in the Azores began. Boston was added to the New York service the following year. In 1975, TAP was nationalised, becoming a state-owned corporation (Empresa Pública) and changing its name to TAP Air Portugal in March 1979.

TAP purchased Boeing 747s during the 1970s, replacing their Boeing 707s; but they were eventually sold due to lack of demand. They were replaced by Lockheed TriStars and Airbus A310s on long-haul routes. In 1985 TAP established its charter subsidiary Air Atlantis. By the late 1990s, TAP had expanded its fleet by selling its older Boeing 727s and Boeing 737s, and had replaced them with Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. The TriStars were sold to Air Luxor and were replaced by Airbus A340s giving TAP an Airbus-only fleet.

In 1989, the service to Newark, New Jersey was introduced and in 1991, the service to Berlin. Also in 1989, TAP became a publicly-traded company (Sociedade Anónima). In 1993, TAP began flying to Tel Aviv. In 1994, TAP signed for a code sharing arrangement with Delta Air Lines for North Atlantic service. This agreement ended in 2005.

1996 saw the introduction of service to Boston via Terceira Island in the Azores, the inauguration of service to Macau and the launch of TAP's Website. In 1997, service began to Punta Cana and Bangkok. Flights to Bangkok and Macau were discontinued in 1998.

In 2005, TAP Portugal became the 16th member of Star Alliance. TAP Air Portugal was re-branded as TAP Portugal in February 2005, employing 9,750 staff. TAP also ended its code-sharing agreement with Delta Air Lines and began a new agreement with United Airlines, as part of its membership in the Star Alliance. Under this agreement United's code (UA) is placed on TAP Portugal's transatlantic flights and some African flights, and TAP Portugal's code (TP) is placed on United flights.

In 2006, TAP Portugal signed a deal with Espírito Santo International for the acquisition of 99.81 per cent of the Portuguese regional airline Portugália. Furthermore it started a code-sharing agreement with US Airways on all routes between Portugal and the United States with connecting services out of Newark and Philadelphia.

As suggested by the Portuguese government, TAP Portugal is expected to be privatised, [1]. It started scheduled flights to Moscow, Warsaw and Helsinki, in June 2009.[2]


TAP’s subsidiaries are:

  • Portugal Portugália (100%)
  • Macau Air Macau (20%)
  • Portugal Groundforce (Handling) (49.9%)
  • Portugal TAP Maintenance and Engineering (100%)
    • Brazil VEM Maintenance and Engineering (90%)
  • Portugal Academia Aeronáutica de Évora (10%)
  • Portugal TAP Tours (100%)
  • Portugal TAP Serviços (100%)
  • Portugal CateringPOR (51%)
  • Portugal Lojas Francas de Portugal (51%)
  • Portugal Megasis (100%)
  • Portugal UCS (100%)


TAP Cargo

TAP Cargo has five all-cargo routes. Besides these routes, TAP Cargo uses all TAP Portugal flights. These are:

TAP Cargo also operates Lisbon-Luanda all-cargo non-regular flights, in an Avient Aviation DC-10F, a Girjet 747-200F, and other leased aircraft.

On board

The aircraft are divided into a two-class cabin - Top Executive and Economy Class.

On the medium-haul fleet of Airbus A319, Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 aircraft, both cabins feature leather seats with an in-flight entertainment (IFE) system of several LCD screens that are extended from the cabin ceiling. The Top Executive class offers better privacy than Economy and a gourmet meal.

On the long-haul fleet of Airbus A330 and Airbus A340 aircraft, the cabin is divided into a two-class layout. The Economy Class of the Airbus A330 is equipped with individual LCDs with touchscreen and a complete IFE on new aircraft, while the older ones feature an average IFE and less-updated individual screens.

In Top Executive class, seats are capable of turning into lie-flat beds. New Airbus A330 aircraft are also fitted with extra functions.


The TAP Portugal fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of January 2010):[2][3][4]

TAP Portugal Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
Airbus A319-100 19 0 128 (15/113)
Airbus A320-200 20 0 157 (14/143) one aircraft in Star Alliance livery
Airbus A321-200 3 0 192 (14/178)
Airbus A330-200 12 0 268 (24/244) one aircraft in Star Alliance livery
Airbus A340-300 4 0 274 (36/238)
Airbus A350-800 0 8 TBA Entry in service: 2014
Airbus A350-900 0 4 TBA Entry in service: 2014
Embraer ERJ 145 8 0 45 (6/39) operated by Portugália
Fokker 100 6 0 95 (8/87) operated by Portugália
Beechcraft 1900D 2 0 19 (0/19) operated by PGA Express

Codeshare agreements

TAP has codeshare agreements with several carriers:

(SA) indicates fellow Star Alliance partners.

Incidents and accidents


  1. ^ "Estatutos TAP." TAP Portugal. Retrieved on 23 February 2010. "A sede da sociedade é em Lisboa, no Edificio 25, no Aeroporto de Lisboa."
  2. ^ TAP Portugal Fleet Information
  3. ^ TAP Portugal fleet list at Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  4. ^ Portugália fleet list at Retrieved 2010-01-23.

External links



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