Category Archives: TAP Portugal

TAP Express puts its first Embraer 190 into revenue service

TAP Portugal’s first Embraer 190 is already flying across the European skies, operating on the company’s regional network in TAP Express livery. The new E190, CS-TPW (msn 19000550), made its maiden flight for TAP on Monday, May 23, with flight TP488, from Lisbon to Nice (France), departing Lisbon at 08:55 am.

The entry into service of the E190 aircraft is part of TAP’s regional fleet renewal strategy – the fleet will soon include nine E190 and eight ATR 72 aircraft – operating for TAP Express, the new branded product recently launched by TAP. TAP Express now replaces former PGA for regional operations, thus reinforcing TAP’s corporate identity and granting a more consistent brand and product.

The E190 aircraft operated by TAP Express will replace the Fokker 100s, which have been in operation for some years. With this new fleet – more modern and efficient – TAP will be able to significantly upgrade services provided to customers, both in comfort and reliability, also improving its operational regularity and punctuality.

With capacity for 106 passengers, the Embraer 190 displays comfortable seats (known as Slim Seats) in a cabin configuration of 2 + 2 seats per row that offer excellent in-flight comfort, and is often considered by passengers as the most comfortable aircraft in its segment.

In addition to the Lisbon-Nice route, the new E190 also operated from Lisbon to Barcelona and Toulouse (for a night-stop) in its first day in operation with TAP Express.

Video: TAP Portugal.

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TAP Portugal launches the first-ever Jingle Bells composed exclusively with Airbus A330 aircraft sounds

TAP Portugal (Lisbon) issued this statement and video:

TAP Portugal logo-1

For its 2015 Christmas video, TAP, the Portuguese leading airline, sought inspiration from its daily sounds to adapt, in an innovative way and for the first time ever, the renowned Christmas melody Jingle Bells, exclusively using aircraft sounds.

The leading actors are TAP employees and the Airbus A330 aircraft, registration CS-TOQ named “Pedro Teixeira”, that embraced the spirit of the season to wish its passengers a Merry Christmas.

It’s time for the world to see it! Happy holidays!

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TAP Portugal orders 14 Airbus A330-900neo and 39 A320neo Family airliners

TAP Portugal A330-900neo (05)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

TAP Portugal has signed a firm order with Airbus for 53 Widebody and single aisle aircraft including 14 A330-900neo, and 39 A320neo Family aircraft (15 A320neos and 24 A321neos). The aircraft will join TAP Portugal’s fleet as part of its fleet renewal announced by the airline’s new majority owner Atlantic Gateway. As part of the agreement, TAP Portugal is replacing its previous order of 12 A350-900s with the A330-900neo.

TAP Portugal is an all Airbus customer, currently operating 43 A320 Family aircraft and 18 Widebody Family aircraft.

The A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus Widebody Family launched in July 2014 with first deliveries scheduled to start in Q4 2017.

Image: Airbus.

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Why is David Neeleman buying a controlling share of problem-plagued TAP Portugal?

David Neeleman, the airline entrepreneur who was involved with running Morris Air (Salt Lake City) with June Morris before he founded NewAir (later JetBlue Airways) (New York) and later Azul Brazilian Airlines (Sao Paulo), has struck out again with a new airline venture. This time he is not creating something new but buying into something old.

TAP Portugal logo-1

 

Neeleman lead an investment group which has been selected by the state of Portugal to acquire their controlling share in troubled flag carrier TAP Portugal (Lisbon) for €348 million ($391 million), outbidding investor German Efromovich. Besides running Azul, he will now be running trouble-plagued TAP Portugal. His group will control 61 percent of the stock of TAP Portugal. Neeleman’s group will upgrade the carrier with new aircraft (probably new Embraers for the European routes).

TAP Portugal is also likely to receive a new makeover with the new ownership group, possibly with a new blue theme.

Read the full report from Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Portugal is the mother country of Brazil. The ties are strong. Both countries speak the same language and the traffic patterns are strong between Brazil and Portugal. The Azul-TAP alliance will now compete against TAM and the LATAM Airlines Group which wants to increase the number of flights between Brazil and Europe. The battle lines are being drawn in Brazil.

For Neeleman, his Brazilian roots are deep. According to Wikipedia, Neeleman was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but raised in Miami. He lived in Brazil until he was five. He later attended Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and attended the University of Utah for three years before dropping out. He served on a religious mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) in the Northeast Region of Brazil.

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After starting JetBlue Airways, CEO David Neeleman on May 10, 2007 was forced out and replaced by David Barger.

Neeleman headed south, back to his original roots. On March 27, 2008 Neeleman officially announced plans to launch a new airline, Azul (Portuguese for “blue”). Azul is now Brazil’s third largest airline and it is expanding internationally.

Azul logo

Also according to Wikipedia, Neeleman lives with his family in New Canaan, Connecticut, United States. He is the father of nine children. In 2000, he disclosed to CNBC that he has adult attention-deficit disorder (see the video above).

When Azul expanded to the United States it picked two cities that are big on the JetBlue Airways route map – Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Orlando, Florida. The ties between Azul and Neeleman’s old JetBlue Airways remain strong.

JetBlue has considered larger aircraft and longer-range routes to Latin America in the past. In essence, Azul is now filling this void (at least to Brazil) with its newly-acquired Airbus A330s.

It is very likely that Neeleman has much bigger plans in mind. The synergy between Brazil (and Latin America), North America and Europe are strong. For Neeleman, he now has the European piece in place once he solves the problems plaguing the flag carrier of Portugal. He also has remaining ties to the North American airline he founded – JetBlue Airways. Are the three the future base of a much larger airline alliance?

For JetBlue, their strategy is to make airline friends with any international carrier that has the potential of code sharing at their point of entry into the United States. They have successfully carved out a niche feeding international airlines especially at New York (JFK), Orlando and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood. This strategy has recently put them at odds with the “Big Three” (American, Delta and United) over the on-going Open Skies dispute with the “Gulf Big Three” (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar). Due to their stance, their ties with the Gulf Big Three are likely to expand. Will Qatar Airways leave the oneworld alliance for JetBlue?

There is a lot of potential for a future Azul-TAP Portugal-JetBlue alliance although JetBlue is unlikely to do anything that would upset any relationship it has.

For David Neeleman, this is only the beginning.

Video: GE Capital. David Neeleman on Leadership and Innovation.

 

 

TAP Portugal is facing a 10-day strike by its pilots

TAP Portugal’s (Lisbon) pilots union, SPAC, has announced a 10-day strike starting on May 1. The pilots, as previously reported, are unhappy with the ongoing privatization process.

TAP Portugal issued this statement:

The Pilots’ Union announced a strike from May 1st to May 10th, which, to be held, will strongly affect TAP operation.

Therefore, TAP will now allow passengers, with confirmed bookings on flights scheduled for the announced dates, to change to TAP flights outside the strike period, within the same cabin.

The establishment of minimum services – flights whose implementation has to be ensured by the Union – will be expected in the forthcoming days.

Any updated information concerning this situation will be published as soon as possible in all of our communication channels.

TAP will make all efforts in order to minimize the impact of the strike on our passengers.

TAP regrets all the inconveniences caused by this decision of the Pilots’ Union and will do everything in its power to ensure that this strike does not take place.

Copyright Photo: Chris Sands/AirlinersGallery.com. TAP Portugal’s Airbus A330-203 CS-TOR (msn 486) arrives at Miami International Airport.

TAP Portugal aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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As TAP Portugal marches towards privatization, the unions threaten to strike on December 27-30, the government attempts to block any disruptions

TAP Portugal (Lisbon) has had a challenging year in 2014. As the government continues to move towards privatization, the company has been facing an on-going labor strife situation. TAP’s 12 unions had been planning to strike the company from December 27-30 in protest against the privatization. However the council of ministers remains resolved to privatize and has evoked a civil requisition to block the strike. Now the unions are threatening legal action against the government.

Read the full story from the Portugal News Online: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 CS-TNR (msn 3883) departs from London (Heathrow).

TAP Portugal aircraft slide show:

TAP Portugal to increase the frequency on the Miami route

TAP Portugal (Miami) from June 28 through September 22, 2015 will go to daily service on the Lisbon-Miami route. Ironically this is the summer rainy season for Miami, the off season for North American visitors. The route is operated with Airbus A330s and A340s.

Copyright Photo: Pedro Baptista/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330223 CS-TOH (msn 181) in the Star Alliance livery arrives at the Lisbon hub.

TAP Portugal aircraft slide show: