The Olympic champion joined us on board to help commemorate – dressed for the part – the first birthday of the airline’s Ponte Aérea service

On the day when TAP’s Ponte Aérea service celebrated its first anniversary, Rosa Mota changed her usual tracksuit for the company livery. The national athlete came on board two TAP Express flights this morning, where she welcomed passengers boarding the fastest and best value link between Porto and Lisbon. Besides being Ponte Aérea’s first birthday, TAP was also celebrating another milestone – 750 thousand passengers carried between the two cities.

Passengers on flights TP1941, Porto-Lisbon, and TP1944, Lisbon-Porto, were today welcomed on board by Rosa Mota herself and also given a personal Port wine gift bottle as well as a card signed by her personally in commemoration of this special day. For the athlete “wearing the TAP uniform is what I’ve been doing for many years now, albeit symbolically, because TAP has always been a part of my life. So being able to take part today in the Ponte Aérea birthday celebrations has been a real pleasure. I would like to congratulate everyone involved, as it’s only thanks to its wonderful team that TAP is such a success story.” Rosa Mota also gave a speech on board the flight, in which she made special mention of the convenience and benefits TAP’s Ponte Aérea service has to offer, while also wishing the Company a happy birthday. Passengers on board were delighted to be a part of this occasion. Their reception in Lisbon was helmed by Fernando Pinto, the company’s CEO.

It was only last November that Rosa Mota accepted the honour of being the first-ever “Ambassador” for TAP’s Ponte Aérea service, appearing in a promotional video about the service that was entirely produced and directed by the company. “I’ve gone back and forth between the two cities in every way imaginable, and Ponte Aérea is surely the most efficient way for anyone who travels as much between Porto and Lisbon as I do”, she said at the time.

TAP’s Ponte Aérea service has been a flagship for the company’s efforts to promote the good name of Portugal. Among the many and varied Portuguese products found on board, every month on the TAP Express fleet 39 thousand pastéis de nata (custard tarts), 800 bottle of Portuguese wine and 34 thousand “Quinta dos Açores” ice creams, also “made in Portugal” take to the air.

Also as part of its campaign to spread regional awareness and assuming its role as ambassador for Portugal around the world, TAP announced “Abraçar Portugal” (“Embrace Portugal”) in celebration of its 72nd birthday last 14 March, or the entire renaming of the TAP Express fleet with the names of the district capitals and island regions of Portugal, in an initiative the likes of which global airlines have never seen.

The Ponte Aérea Porto-Lisbon service was simultaneously launched on 27 March 2016 alongside our TAP Express service, the company’s rebranding of PGA – Portugália Airlines. At the current time, the TAP Express fleet is in service of Ponte Aérea with an average of 16 flights daily, on the hour. From Porto to Lisbon, flights operate between 5.30 am and 9.30 pm and in the opposite direction between 7 am and 11.15 pm, thus ensuring total connectivity between the entire TAP network. At peak times flights are operated on our Airbus A320 or Embraer 190, with most connections carried out using our fleet of ATR 72s. The first two aircraft offer 47 per cent more seating and a reduction in 40 per cent of fuel spent per passenger.