TAP Portugal is the main airline company in Portugal. It offers direct flights to destinations in Europe, the Americas and Africa to and from Portuguese airports in Faro, Porto, and Lisbon. It operates a number of code-share flights through its partnership with Star Alliance.
- IATA code: TP
- Number of serviced cities: 60
- Main hub: Lisbon Portela International Airport (LIS)
- Alliance: Star Alliance
- Fleet: 70 airplanes
- Loyalty rewards program: Victoria
History of TAP Portugal
TAP was established in 1945, just after the Second World War. The first flight that TAP operated was between Lisbon and Madrid on the 19th of September in 1946. During the following 4 years, the company opened new routes towards Luanda (Angola), Paris, London, and Seville. It joined the IATA in 1948. The company has been privatized since 1953.
The first transatlantic flight connected Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 1955. At the beginning of the 1960s during the up rise of a colonial war and under the authoritative regime of the Estado Novo, the company began servicing Western Europe, partially to aid in the migration of 100 000 Portuguese leaving to work abroad and fulfil their military obligations. At the same time, TAP entered the jet era and left behind its first fleet.
In 1974, the authoritarian government was over-thrown and the following years were when TAP really modernized: it introduced new yellow uniforms designed by French tailor Louis Féraud, the company bought new Boeings, put into place electronic check-in, developed a business class, released an in-flight magazine and feminized the flight crew… All of this however did not solve the company’s financial challenges. In 1982 TAP transported the Pope Jean-Paul II on his first trip to Portugal. For the first time ever at TAP a flight was operated by a female pilot in 1989. In the 1990s the company entered into the Airbus era. The first website was launched in 1996 and TAP introduced electronic ticketing the following year. The 2000s were marked by technological evolutions, excellent prices per service and a complete makeover of the company’s design. TAP Portugal joined Star Alliance in 2005.
Travel with TAP Portugal: practical information
- Meals: On domestic and medium-length flights, a sandwich and fruit salad is served. On long-haul flights a heated traditional European meal is served.
- Entertainment: There is an in-flight magazine (UP Magazine). On long-haul flights there are individual screens with films, television series, news… On shorter flights, a communal screen display tourist information on Portugal.
- Cabin: 1 piece is permitted, 6 kg maximum with dimensions 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.
- Checked: Europe-Portugal: 20 kg max, Portugal-Brazil and USA: 2 pieces at 23 kg each.
- Excess: The company has a tolerance of up to 5 extra kilos. After that, for flights between Portugal and Europe expect to pay 15€ per kg.
Discounts and Special Offers
The company offers many different types of tickets at the Economy level: TAP discount, TAP basic and TAP classic. The same service is applied but you also gain miles if you are part of the Star Alliance program. There are discounts available for infants, children, youth under the age of 25, and seniors over the age of 65. TAP generally offers the best fares when a ticket is purchased 4-6 months before the departure date and outside of tourist season.