75 Years Of Tap Air Portugal
AP (Air Portugal) was born in the country of explorers and has continued the legacy of linking Portugal to the world.
As it grew, it connected continents, brought people together, shared knowledge of cultures, followed innovations in aviation and conquered a place in the history of our country.
Created on 14 March 1945 by Humberto Delgado, after whom Lisbon’s airport is now named, TAP allowed Portugal to take to the skies. Still in 1945, the company received its rst planes, two Dakota DC-3s, and the rst logo was launched, with which it took o in this new world of aviation.
The rst commercial ight linked Lisbon to Madrid on 19 September 1946.
The same year, the company’s rst uniform was revealed, as well as another important rst, the Linha Aérea Imperial (Imperial Airline) that linked Lisbon, Luanda (Angola) and Lourenço Marques (now Maputo, Mozambique).
From the Dakota to the Skymaster, not forgetting the Super Constellation, during the 1960s TAP ended up replacing propellers with jets.
It acquired the rst ‘Caravelle’ and later the Boeing 727, 707 and 747 ‘Jumbo Jets’. And while Portugal was going through the Revolution of 25 April 1974, TAP was nationalised and entered a rapid process of technological modernisation, culminating in an extreme makeover of the company, in 1979: from ‘Transportes Aéreos Portugueses’ to ‘TAP Air Portugal’, which was more internationally recognisable. During the 1980s, TAP passengers still ew aboard Boeing 737s and Lockheed TriStars, but it wasn’t long before the start of the Airbus era, which still remains an option today, consolidating a eet of more economical and versatile planes.
The new millennium brought with it great change for TAP, particularly with the intention of creating a hub in Lisbon, a strategic decision, given its geographic position, to link Europe to Africa and the Americas, and which the company still uses today.
The early 2000s were also marked by TAP joining the prestigious Star Alliance, the acquisition of Portugália, a new brand, new uniforms, more workers, more planes, improved passenger relationship management and greater e ciency in terms of energy and the environment.
And in 2015, a new chapter began for TAP with the privatisation of the company. This phase brought new life to the business, with the purchase of dozens of state-of-the-art planes and significant investment in updating the existing fleet. Passenger numbers grew year on year, breaking all previous records, the company was recurrently highlighted as among the best in the world for various reasons and the prizes multiplied year after year.
With the latest NEO planes, TAP now has one of the world’s youngest, most comfortable, most e cient and environmentally friendly eets, not forgetting the great novelty of in ight connectivity on transatlantic ights.
The company was o cially recognised as the biggest private employer in Portugal and one of the most attractive companies to work for, making it one of the main driving forces in the Portuguese economy.
And it pays homage to Portugal, too, by baptising its planes with the name of some of the country’s most emblematic cultural icons.
TAP currently carries more than 17 million passengers a year, averaging 3 thousand ights a week, with a eet of more than 100 planes.
In all, it ies to around 90 destinations in 37 countries around the world.
These 75 years of history have been marked by a whole host of memories and, above all, the many professionals who have made this the best national airline, with it prestigious prizes, recognitions and records.