MIAMI – Today in Aviation, TAP Portugal (TP) rebranded as TAP Air Portugal in 2017. The change was brought about following expansion into the North American market. It was felt that many customers may not associate TAP Portugal as an airline.
TAP began promoting Lisbon (LIS) as a gateway to Europe for North American travelers in 2016. Flights to New York, Boston and Miami were reintroduced from Lisbon and Porto (OPO).
The airline was founded on March 14, 1945 as Transportes Aéreos Portugueses. Following the arrival of two Douglas DC-3s, operations commenced on March 19, 1946, with a flight from LIS to Madrid (MAD).
In 1975, TP was brought under state ownership and in 1979 a modernization program commenced. The company was rebranded as TAP Air Portugal with a new livery and logo.
A Further Rebranding
A further rebranding was undertaken for the company’s 60th anniversary in 2005. ‘Air’ was dropped from the title, with the airline becoming simply TAP Portugal. In March it also became part of the Star Alliance.
In June 2015, 61% of the companies shares were sold by the Portuguese government to the Atlantic Gateway consortium, led by JetBlue founder David Neeleman. This was subsequently reduced to 45% when the new left-wing government decided to retake majority control.
Today, TP is riding out the COVID-19 crisis with a €1.2bn bailout and is working on a restructuring plan to ensure its future.
Featured image: TAP Air Portugal CS-TUH Airbus A330-900. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways