TAP Portugal is the airline of Portugal, founded in 1945. TAP is the acronym of Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, which can be translated for Portuguese Air Transportations, and the company is considered one of the safest airlines in the world.
In 2011, it was rated Western Europe’s safest airline by JACDEC Airliner Safety Report and the fourth worldwide tied with Qantas, Air New Zealand and Finnair. In its records, there is only a fatal accident. It happen in 1977, in Madeira, the Portuguese island that is known for the difficult landing conditions, specially before the extension of the airport runway which was, before 1983, only 1,600 metres long.
The safety and service of TAP Portugal has helped the company collect several international awards. In 2010, the British magazine Condé Nast Traveller has elected it the World Best Airline. That same year, the World Travel Awards named it the Best Airline to South America, an award that has given to TAP also in 2009. In 2018, magazine Monocle elected TAP as the airline with the “most handsome crew”.
Almost since its foundation, TAP has moved between public and private ownership. At the moment (2021) and due to the Covid crisis, the Portuguese government is negotiating a rescue plan as in many other European countries.
Despite the difficult situation of the airlines, TAP is considered a strategic company in Portugal. It has, since its beginning, been a very important part of the connection of Portugal with the different continents and, in some ways, a way of keeping alive the historical relationship with former colonies of the Portuguese empire like Angola, Mozambique, Cape Vert or Brazil.
Before the Covid crisis, TAP Portugal travelled to 80 destinations spread all over 30 countries, using Airbus for long and medium flights and Embraer and ATR for the shorter flights. At the moment, the company is readjusting its list of destinations according to traveling restrictions and, of course, a huge decrease in demand that was caused by the pandemic.