3 World Travel Awards!
Celebrating the Portuguese flagship airline is something that just won’t stop! TAP was a winner in the three categories in which it was nominated in the World Travel Awards Europe 2019 (WTA) that this year took place in national territory at a ceremony in Funchal, on the island of Madeira. It was considered the Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa; Europe’s Leading Airline to South America; and Best Inflight Magazine in Europe – which you are currently reading (fifth consecutive year, in addition to Best Inflight Magazine in 2019).
Attributed since 1993, the WTA were created to recognise and reward excellence in all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Nominated among some of the most reputable airlines, TAP won an online vote, involving mostly tourism and travel professionals (travel agents, operators and tourism organisations, from over 100 countries, as well as the general public). These trophies came after various awards in previous years. The WTA voted TAP Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa and Europe’s Leading Airline to South America during 2014- 2017. It was also the World’s Leading Airline to Africa in 2011, 2012 and 2018; and World’s Leading Airline to South America during 2009-2012 and in 2018.
These WTA are recognition of the major transformation and renewal the company has invested in, with new aircraft, new routes and a focus on improving its customers’ travel experience.
TAP’s A321LR makes history
Once again, TAP plays the role of pioneer, writing a new page in the history of world aviation. TAP flew the first commercial transatlantic flight with the A321 Long Range on 1st June, connecting Porto and New York. The CS-TXA, named after the Portuguese philosopher and poet Agostinho da Silva, took off at 18:05, consolidating TAP’s commitment to northern Portugal and associating this historic milestone with the 30th anniversary commemorations of the Porto Base. To mark this maiden flight, in addition to the celebrations at Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto, a special Quinta do Ventozelo wine was served in executive and economy classes and every passenger received a bottle of Dalva Port. Passengers in executive class were also given a bar of Castelbel soap, while economy class passengers received pillowcases with the emblem of this company famed for its luxury perfumed products.In a statement to the company’s employees, Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of TAP, said that it was “a historic day for aviation, for Portugal and for Porto. This cutting-edge aircraft allows us to expand our operation from Porto to the USA, from the three weekly flights we currently have to five, aiming for a daily flight in the near future”. The first of 14 of this model ordered from Airbus, the A321LR is a narrow body that can operate transatlantic routes, something that TAP will exploit, taking full advantage of Portugal’s geographical location, and fly to New York, Boston and Washington, DC, and even to Montreal, Canada, in the near future. In Brazil, it will allow new markets in the northeast of the country to be explored and complement service in several cities, such as Recife, Maceió, Natal, Fortaleza or Salvador.
TAP crew voted world’s most handsome again
TAP is featured in Monocle magazine’s annual Travel Top 50 again this year. According to the British publication, TAP has the world’s most handsome crew. As well as their looks and presentation, Monocle also highlights the crew’s professionalism. According to the magazine: “With an average age of 38, they are not the youngest in the skies, but their experience is possibly the reason we are praising the professional and friendly service and the warm welcome we received on board”. This ranking, which assesses the best overall travel experiences, also evaluated the Claus Porto products by Ach. Brito, which are often available on TAP aircraft and at special events organised by the airline, such as inaugural flights, retro aircraft and the first anniversary of the Porto-Lisbon Shuttle, among others. Mention should also be made of the work TAP has done at its hub in Lisbon that Monocle named the Most Conveniently Located Long-Haul Hub. It also highlighted the airport’s proximity to Lisbon city centre, as well as the historical and cultural links between Portugal and both Brazil and Africa.
Together for a cause
Following the wake of cyclone Idai in Mozambique, TAP organised a support campaign – Mozambique – For a cause, Together! – throughout April. TAP invited its frequent flyers to join the Donate Miles campaign, and they responded enthusiastically, supporting four NGOs: Estímulo, Médicos do Mundo, Helpo e Solidariedade a Moçambique. These NGOs received two million miles, which were very useful for their rescue missions in Mozambique and transporting cargo. TAP also made a solidarity fare available to all organisations that needed to transport cargo to Mozambique and offered already discontinued blankets used for in-flight service. Internally, the company implemented a campaign with its employees to support Estímulo, collecting much-needed items. According to the NGO, TAP staff donated over half a ton of essential goods, such as non-perishable food, personal hygiene items and disinfection products. According to TAP’s corporate social responsibility department, this type of help allows NGOs to exponentially increase the impact of their work in the field, via humanitarian teams and cargo during phases of reconstruction.
Banjul from October
TAP will begin flying to Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, on 26th October, with three flights per week from Lisbon. This is another example of the national airline strengthening its service to Africa, a market in which TAP has recorded significant growth. The service will use Airbus A320 aircraft, with three flights per week, leaving Lisbon at 20:55 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arriving in Banjul at 00:10 the next day. The flights will then leave Banjul at 01:05 (on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays), arriving at Humberto Delgado airport at 06:05 (all times local). Tickets for the Banjul flights are on sale now. The launch of this new route further strengthens TAP’s service to Africa, adding one more country and one more capital to its network of destinations on the continent of Africa.
TAP carried more than 1.1 million passengers on its African routes in 2018, an increase of 11.3% compared to the previous year.
A greener TAP
On World Environment Day, 5th June, TAP celebrated a new prize. The Portuguese airline was voted the company with the best environmental practices by the readers of Selecções Reader’s Digest, in the Airline category, winning the 2019 Marca de Confiança Ambiente trophy. The reader survey was based on 12,000 Portuguese households, representative of the Portuguese population in demographic terms (gender and age). The results were measured between 17th September and 30 November, 2018. According to Maria João Calha, head of TAP’s Environment department, “together with the fleet renewal strategy, TAP has implemented projects that will improve its environmental and energy performance, reducing carbon dioxide emissions”, highlighting that this is one of the company’s priorities. The launch of the 2018-2020 disposable plastic reduction program, on land and on board, overhauling the fleet with quieter and more efficient aircraft, and the promotion of environmental culture among employees, have been some of the various initiatives that TAP has undertaken to reduce its ecological footprint.
TAP Human Resources wins prize
TAP saw its performance distinguished at the 8th Human Resources Awards ceremony in Lisbon on 9th May. The company won the gold medal in the Employer Branding category, competing with seven other Portuguese and international companies, in what was the largest networking event in people management according to the organisers. This award celebrates the company’s working conditions and reputation as an employer. According to Pedro Ramos, Group Human Resources Director, “this public recognition of our employer branding strategy reinforces our position as the most attractive company in Portugal”. Last year, TAP hired around 1,200 employees and the TAP Group concluded the year 2018 with over 12,000 direct employees in Portugal, making the company among the country’s largest employers.
TAP Miles&Go wins award in the USA
TAP’s loyalty programme was distinguished at the prestigious Freddie Awards on 25th April, receiving the 210 Award for Europe and Africa, which considers TAP Miles&Go the programme with the greatest growth potential for these regions. The 29th Freddie Awards took place at the CR Smith Museum, in Texas, USA, with over 7 million votes from frequent customers from different countries. This prize for TAP’s recently created Miles&Go, which replaced the Victoria programme at the end of last year, justifies TAP’s commitment to making its loyalty programme reflect its customers’ real needs and wishes. The Freddie Awards were created in 1988 to frequent flyers a voice and recognise the efforts of an industry with over 300 million members worldwide.
Relax at San Francisco Airport
In June, TAP started flying five times a week to San Francisco International Airport (SFO), a contemporary structure in permanent evolution. This month sees the inauguration of the renovated Terminal 1, which is now called The Harvey B. Milk Terminal, named after an important figure in the struggle for civil rights. The New Grand Hyatt, a luxury hotel built on airport land, also opens. However, there’s much more to explore and enjoy at SFO. Don’t miss the open-air terrace and observation deck at the end of the International Terminal, next to boarding area G: a relaxing spot that’s ideal for aviation fans. Peace of mind is also available in the Yoga Room, which is found in Terminal 2, just after the security check and next to the Recompose Area. Last, but not least: SFO is home to Wag Brigade, a programme that brings trained dogs to the terminal areas, which are walked by staff from the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. You can’t miss them: the dogs wear vests that say, “Pet Me!”.
Playing golf with TAP
If you’re a golf fan, you can now enjoy a page dedicated to the sport on the company’s website, flytap.com. The product of a partnership between TAP and Hole19, this page presents both current and future events, with a hyperlink that refers to a dedicated page. Users can discover partner courses that offer TAP customers a discount on tee-time and make the respective reservation. At the bottom of the page, there’s a link that allows you to download the Hole19 application, which provides a better experience as part of your golf trip. Attracting thousands of visitors every year, Portugal is the jewel in the crown of world golf venues, having been selected as the World’s Best Golf Destination for the fifth consecutive year in November 2018.
Zé Pedro transports Xutos & Pontapés to Madeira
The Portuguese rock band Xutos & Pontapés flew for the first time in the new Airbus A321neo CS-TJL, christened Zé Pedro, in honour of the band’s departed rhythm guitar (1956-2017), for a concert in Funchal. Flight TP1687, whose cabin was decorated with the band’s iconic red scarf, took off from Lisbon on 30th April, at 16:40, landing in Madeira at 18:25. In addition to the red scarf, all passengers on this flight were presented with the band’s new album, Duro. This record is the last featuring Zé Pedro and the reason for the band’s latest tour, which is sponsored by TAP and celebrates 40 years together. The name Zé Pedro, followed by the Xutos & Pontapés symbol, was painted during the airplane’s naming ceremony, which took place in TAP’s hangar 6 in Lisbon, last February. The ceremony was attended by the band, Zé Pedro’s family, hundreds of TAP employees, the airline’s CEO and Chairman, and other guests. Guitarist Zé Pedro was one of the founders of Xutos & Pontapés, author of many hits, such as “Não Sou o Único”, “À Minha Maneira” or “Para Sempre”.
TAP’s 100 aircraft
For the first time in its 74-year history, TAP has 100 aircraft. Baptised with the name of the Portuguese king, D. Afonso Henriques, nicknamed “The Conqueror”, the 100th aircraft marks the start of a new era for the company and celebrates the achievements since privatisation. The CS-TUI was presented at Hangar 6 of Campus TAP, in Lisbon, on 20th May, and its commemorative painting was unveiled to hundreds of workers and the media. The event was also broadcast via webcast, so everyone could be part of this historic day. According to Miguel Frasquilho, Chairman of the TAP Group, who opened the ceremony, “TAP is now part of an elite group of European airlines operating with at least 100 aircraft. It’s an honour and a great source of pride for us to be here today making history.” Currently, TAP is also the only airline in the world to operate Airbus’s entire NEO fleet and the first in Europe with the Airbus A321 Long Range. Much of TAP’s transformation and modernisation process is based on these state-of-the-art aircraft, which TAP’s Antonoaldo Neves believes is already reflected in customers’ opinions. “Our passenger satisfaction rate has tripled since 2017. We must thank our customers for their preference”, said the CEO during the ceremony. In 2025, with 71 new aircraft, TAP will have the most modern fleet in the world, and this is one of the cornerstones of the new shareholders’ Strategic Plan, presented when the airline was privatised in 2015 and approved by the Portuguese state.
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