TAP Air Portugal, or rather Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, was founded 77 years ago, March 14, 1945, and flew its first commercial flight September 19, 1946, inaugurating service from Lisbon to Madrid, Spain, aboard a Douglas DC-3.
The flag carrier of Portugal flew its first trans-Atlantic route from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, starting in 1960.
By June 19, 1964, some 20 years later, TAP carried its 1 millionth passenger and, in 1967, became the first airline in Europe to exclusively operate jets. In 1972, TAP received its first Boeing 747-200 wide-body jetliner.
In 1979, the airline underwent a modernization program, changing the name to TAP Air Portugal to make the name more recognizable for international travelers. By the end of the decade, the airline operated a fleet of 32 modern airliners that served more than 40 destinations across four continents.
During the 1980s, the fleet of Boeing 707s and 747s was replaced in the 1980s, then the Boeing 727s and 737s were replaced in the 1990s, leading TAP to become an exclusive Airbus operator.
TAP became a member of Star Alliance in 2005 and was semi-privatized in 2015 by JetBlue founder David Neeleman’s Atlantic Gateway consortium. In 2020, the Portuguese state increased its stake to 72.5 percent, acquired from Atlantic Gateway, which now holds 22.5 percent.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the airline operated up to 2,000 flights a week to 90 destinations in 34 countries worldwide. The company has a fleet of 100 airplanes, all manufactured by Airbus, with the exception of 22 Embraer and ATR aircraft, operating in the fleet of regional airline TAP Express.
Now, as travel demand comes back following the lulls of the 2020 and 2021 pandemic years, TAP once again flies from all 11 North American gateways: New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Boston (BOS), Washington, D.C. (IAD), Miami (MIA), Chicago (ORD), San Francisco (SFO), Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL), Punta Cana (PUJ) and Cancun.
To celebrate the airline’s 40th anniversary, TAP built Museu do Air, a museum dedicated to the history of the airline. Located in the beautiful town of Sintra, travelers still visit the museum today — and it has expanded to cover Portuguese aviation beyond TAP.
While TAP Air Portugal is 77 years, its fleet is much younger in age, ensuring the well-established airline delivers a thoroughly modern flight experience. In 2019, TAP Air Portugal was the launch airline for the new Airbus A330-900neo, a true next-generation aircraft. The A330neo features the new generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and a higher span 3-D optimized wing with new sharklets. It also reduces fuel consumption by 25 percent and delivers state-of-the-art aerodynamics and acoustics.
On the A330neo and its other aircraft, TAP’s Executive Class allows you to enjoy superior service in the skies. The Recaro lie-flat seats transform into beds with hypoallergenic pillows and soft, wrap-around duvets. Menus focus on Portuguese products, alongside a selection of Portuguese wines; menus are regularly updated with sustainably sourced, fresh ingredients. Unwind in flight with more than 100 films, more than 50 hours of series and documentaries, 12 in-flight radio channels and more.
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