In July – 1700000: Absolute record
TAP has broken a new record in July after transporting over 1,700,000 passengers aboard its aircraft. With growth of 11.6% compared to the same period last year, this was TAP’s best month ever, in terms of passenger numbers.
North America stood out with a 57.1% increase in passengers, totalling around 117,000 customers on board, as well as Africa, where TAP grew 13.9% (129,000 passengers).
Brazil continues to show signs of recovery. After TAP transported 3.4% more passengers on South American routes in June than in the same month of 2018, in July the difference was 10.9% more than the same period of the previous year (17,000 more passengers).
The highest absolute growth was on European routes, surpassing 1,000,000 passengers, 77,000 more (8.3%), when compared to July 2018.
On Azores and Madeira routes, TAP grew 11% to reach 156,000 passengers on all routes to and from the Autonomous Regions. It’s also worth mentioning the ten new routes TAP has inaugurated this year – Tel Aviv, Basel, Dublin, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Naples, Tenerife, Conakry and Porto-Brussels -, which have contributed over 100,000 passengers. Europe ranks first with 55,000 more passengers, followed by the North Atlantic with 31,000 extra customers, and the Middle East with 10,000.
As such, July consolidates TAP’s results in the first half of the year, transporting almost 8,000,000 customers, an increase of 4.8% compared to the first six months of 2018.
TAP – The strongest brand
In July, TAP was considered the strongest Portuguese brand in the Brand Strength Index ranking prepared by the Brand Finance consultancy, which assesses 50 brands from different sectors in Portugal. This pushes the company into the country’s group of most valuable brands. Brand Finance highlights new routes in a year in which TAP also boosted the number of flight and adjusted its product provision. In this index, which assesses factors such as emotional connection, financial performance and brand sustainability, TAP obtained the highest score among the companies assessed in Portugal, rising from ninth position to top of the list.
Carlos Paredes and D. Maria I give their names to two A320neo
TAP paid tribute to Carlos Paredes, Portuguese guitar master, by christening a new Airbus A320neo (registration CS-TVD) with his name. The ceremony, which took place on 23rd July in hangar 6 on the TAP campus, was attended by his family, hundreds of TAP employees, the airline’s Chairman and CEO, together with invited guests, who wanted to mark the 15th anniversary since the artist’s death.
“It is a great honour for TAP to pay tribute to a Portuguese cultural icon, such as Carlos Paredes”, said Miguel Frasquilho, Chairman of the TAP Group, at the event opening. “Carlos Paredes deserves this honour and it may be the most beautiful of all”, added Luísa Amaro, musician and the guitarist’s widow, during her speech, moved by TAP’s tribute to the musician. “From today, this plane will be a huge Carlos Paredes guitar with people inside and will reach the four corners of the globe”, she concluded. Carlos Paredes’ relationship with TAP goes back a long way. In 1990, as part of the Airline’s 45th anniversary celebrations, the guitarist dedicated the album Asas sobre o Mundo to TAP. The record included two compositions written exclusively for TAP: “Asas sobre o Mundo” and “Asas da Saudade” – to thank the airline for all its help and support throughout his career.
This is already the second tribute TAP has paid to a Portuguese musician in a single year, after baptising an A321neo Zé Pedro, named after the guitarist with the band Xutos & Pontapés. Carlos Paredes is now the fifth musician to lend their name to TAP’s planes, in addition to the A319 Guilhermina Suggia (CS-TTS), the A320 Luís de Freitas Branco (CS-TNR), the A321 Amália Rodrigues (CS-TJG).
Also in the month of July, the skies welcomed a new queen. A new Airbus A330neo aircraft was baptised D. Maria I, paying tribute to Portugal’s first queen regnant. The eldest daughter of D. José I, she received the title Princess of Brazil when her father was crowned king in 1750. The aircraft named after her is part of the TAP’s long-haul fleet, and as such will also be flying to the destination of her title – Brazil – which she held until she was crowned as queen in 1777. D. Maria I, known as “the Pious”, was part of the fourth and final dynasty of Portuguese kings and queens, which lasted until the institution of the Republic in 1910. In total, she reigned for 38 years, always focussing on legislative, commercial and diplomatic activity. Dedicated to social work, some of her most important measures included the foundation of the Real Casa Pia de Lisboa and the construction of the Estrela Basilica, where her tomb remains. The monarch joins other personalities from Portuguese history who TAP has paid tribute to in its long-haul fleet, such as D. João II, D. João de Castro, D. Francisco de Almeida, D. Maria II, João Vaz Côrte-Real and João XXI, among many others.
Following TAP’s fleet renewal process, the airline now has the EconomyXtra area on its aircraft, where you can travel in economy class almost as if it were business class. This area is available on the LisbonSão Paulo and Lisbon-San Francisco routes, both ways, as well as on some medium-haul routes. On long-haul flights, EconomyXtra is located in the front rows of economy class (red seats) and has more spacious, reclining seats with adjustable headrests, an entertainment monitor, electrical and USB sockets, a headset and luggage compartment. On medium haul, also located in the front rows of economy (red seats), these have more space, reclining seats with adjustable headrests and tablet holder, access to power and USB connections. More details and how to book can be found on the Booking Information page on flytap.com.
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Congratulations to Prague and Warsaw
TAP has flown from Lisbon to Prague for 15 years and to Warsaw for ten. The anniversary of both routes was marked at their respective airports on 30th May and 12th June, bringing together TAP representatives in both countries, as well as crews, ambassadors and journalists. A few days after the Czech Republic joined the European Union, TAP started flying the route between Lisbon and Prague, on 1st June 2004, with just three weekly flights. Growth has been enormous in the Czech market and, nowadays, TAP offers 11 flights a week, the only airline operating direct and daily flights between the Czech Republic and Portugal, all year round. Since the route started, the airline has transported over 1.1 million people between the two cities, the vast majority making Lisbon the steppingstone to other cities, particularly in North and South America. In 2009, TAP carried 28,000 passengers on the LisbonWarsaw route. Ten years later, the number has tripled. In 2018, TAP ended the year with 102,000 passengers transported between the Portuguese and Polish capitals. A decade ago, there were five weekly flights. Nowadays, TAP operates nine flights a week between the two cities. In the first four months of this year, in addition to more flights and passengers, revenue in the Polish market grew 37% compared to the same period last year. Also, there has been an increase in sales from Poland to TAP destinations in Brazil and the United States, as a result of the announcement of the new Airbus A330neo aircraft and TAP’s new destinations this year in North America: Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
From fantasy to reality
Flying for the first time is an unforgettable experience. The 20 youngsters from the Casa de Infância e Juventude de Castelo Branco (CIJE), who travelled for the first time to Madeira aboard a TAP plane on 29th June would undoubtedly say the same. The girls, who were aged between 11 and 21, belong to the Voo à Fantasia children’s choir, which teamed up the Orquestra de Bandolins de Câmara de Lobos (Associação Cultural ComCORDAS) for concerts in Madeira, and took advantage of the occasion for field trips. Aboard, these special passengers were surprised by the crew with first flight diplomas and gifts from the TAP Store, with the airline marking this unique moment in the lives of these youngsters, highlighting the importance of institutions such as CIJE. In the future, we hope to see them all on board again.
A new life for TAP seats
After travelling the world aboard TAP’s planes, the airline’s old seats have appeared in the most recent Xutos & Pontapés video. The band used old plane seats, for sale at the company’s charity auctions, for the video of their new song “Às Vezes”, released in July. The track is part of the album Duro, the last to feature guitarist Zé Pedro. Business and economy class seats, galleys, cupboards and other cabin parts are some of the things that TAP auctions throughout the year to support different institutions, such as UNICEF, Associação Salvador, Associação Mimar and Santa Casa da Misericórdia, among others.
A plane full of medals
The Portuguese roller hockey team, which won the 2019 World Roller Games championship in Barcelona in July, returned to Portugal with TAP on board the Airbus A320 Aquilino Ribeiro (CS-TNI). Captain Nuno Camilo congratulated the medallists during the flight and, on arrival in Lisbon, TAP and Portugal flags could be seen in the cockpit. All the medallists also received gifts from the TAP Store and were welcomed at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport by hundreds of people in festive mode. The same flight also included some of the medal winners of the Portuguese figure skating team, which won a gold medal, two silver medals and two bronze medals. In total, Portugal brought home two gold medals, three silver and five bronze. This way, TAP celebrates domestic sport and congratulates all Portuguese athletes who carry the country’s name around the world.
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