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TAP Portugal, commonly known as TAP, is the national airline of Portugalmarker. It is based at Lisbonmarker's Portela Airportmarker, 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 Lisbonmarker to Madridmarker 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 Luandamarker, Angolamarker and Lourenço Marques (now Maputomarker), Mozambiquemarker.

In 1947, domestic services commenced from Lisbonmarker to Portomarker as well as from São Tomémarker to Londonmarker. TAP began service to Tangiermarker and Casablancamarker 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 Yorkmarker via Santa Maria Islandmarker in the Azores began. Bostonmarker was added to the New Yorkmarker 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. 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 Jerseymarker was introduced and in 1991, the service to Berlinmarker. Also in 1989, TAP became a publicly-traded company (Sociedade Anónima). In 1993, TAP began flying to Tel Avivmarker. 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 Bostonmarker via Terceira Islandmarker in the Azores, the inauguration of service to Macaumarker and the launch of TAP's Website. In 1997, service began to Punta Canamarker and Bangkokmarker. 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 Portugalmarker and the United Statesmarker with connecting services out of Newarkmarker and Philadelphiamarker.

As suggested by the Portuguese government, in 2009 TAP Portugal is expected to be privatised, [825897] and to start scheduled flights to Moscowmarker, Warsawmarker and Helsinkimarker, beginning in June.[825898]


TAP’s subsidiaries are:
  • Portugália (100%)
  • Air Macau (20%)
  • Groundforce (Handling) (49.9%)
  • TAP Maintenance and Engineering (100%)
    • VEM Maintenance and Engineering (90%)
  • Academia Aeronaútica de Évora (10%)
  • TAP Tours (100%)
  • TAP Serviços (100%)

  • CateringPOR (51%)
  • Lojas Francas de Portugal (51%)
  • Megasis (100%)
  • 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 April 2009):
TAP Portugal Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
Routes Notes
Airbus A319-100 19 0 128 (15/113) Domestic and Europe
Airbus A320-200 15 4 157 (14/143) Domestic and Europe One in Star Alliance livery
Airbus A321-200 3 0 192 (14/178) Domestic and Europe
Airbus A330-200 12 0 268 (24/244) Azores, North and South America One in Star Alliance livery
Airbus A340-300 4 0 274 (36/238) Africa, North and South America
Airbus A350-800 0 8 TBA TBA Entry in service: 2014
Airbus A350-900 0 4 TBA TBA Entry in service: 2014
Embraer ERJ 145 8 0 45 (0/45) Domestic and Europe Operated by Portugália
Fokker 100 6 0 97 (0/97) Domestic and Europe Operated by Portugália
Beechcraft 1900D 2 0 19 (0/19) Spain Operated by PGA Express

Codeshare agreements

TAP has codeshare agreements with several carriers:

(SA) indicates fellow Star Alliance partners.

Incidents and accidents


  1. TAP Portugal Fleet Information

External links

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