With arms wide open
TAP is the leading Portuguese airline, it has been flying since 1945 and has been a member of the Star Alliance since 14 March 2005. Its Lisbon hub is a key European gateway at the crossroads of Africa, and North and South America.
With the launch of new routes over recent years, TAP’s summer 2014 network grew to include 11 new destinations. Currently the Portuguese airline has connections to 81 destinations in 34 countries. It operates an average of around 2500 flights a week and has a fleet of 77 modern aircraft: 61 Airbuses, and another 16 aircraft in the colours of PGA (Portugália Airlines).
The company’s Portuguese character, brand and the quality of service as a basic concept have been the main factors driving TAP’s strategy over recent years, and which have been justified by the many awards that have won from national and international bodies.
Over recent years TAP has focussed on some of its main markets, particularly in Africa, Brazil and South America. The company’s efforts have included ensuring sustainable growth by adapting to the changes in each market, while increasing traffic and occupancy rates. Consequently, new medium- and long-haul routes have been added to the TAP network.
Following this expansion strategy, TAP added two African destinations to its network in 2013: Boa Vista (Cape Verde) and Tangier (Morocco), at the same time as it increased the frequency of flights to some of its main destinations. In South America it has established itself as a service leader in Brazil, with direct flights to 12 destinations from Lisbon and Porto in 2014, extending its services to cover all regions of the country: Belem, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Campinas, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo. As well as new connections to Brazil, TAP added more destinations to its South American and European networks: Bogota (Colombia), Panama City (Panama), Asturias-Oviedo (Spain), Nantes (France), Hanover (Germany) and Gothenburg (Sweden).
TAP was named the World’s Leading Airline to Africa by the World Travel Awards in 2011 and 2012. It was named the World’s Leading Airline to South America in 2009, 2010, 2011 and again in 2012. Named by the British magazine, Business Destinations, as the Airline with the Best Executive Class — South America in 2013, it won the Best European Airline award in 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the prestigious US magazine Global Traveler, and it was the UNESCO and International Union of Geological Sciences winner of the Planet Earth IYPE 2010 award in the Most Innovative Sustainable Product category. Considered the Best Airline by the magazine Condé Naste Traveler in 2010, it was also named Best Portuguese Company in the area of Tourism in 2011.
In 2014 and 2015 TAP was again awarded the Leading European Airline to Africa and South America prize by the World Travel Awards, which are considered the “Oscars” of tourism. In 2015 the company won even more prizes: the Publituris Portugal Travel Awards 2015 classed TAP the Best Airline Company, the TAP Destinations microsite (destinos.flytap.com) was recognised as the Best Microsite at the Digital Communications Awards gala in Berlin, while TAP’s in-flight magazine, UP, won Europe’sLeading Inflight Magazine at the 2015 World Travel Awards.
Social and mobile networks
TAP has also received international mentions on social media, and continues to grow each day in the digital world. Here contact with the company’s passengers is constant and (almost) immediate.
The Facebook (facebook.com/TAPPortugal) page has more than 880,000 fans, and keeps getting the Socially Devoted seal from Socialbakers.com, which shows the airline is recognised for its customer support on this important social network.
Instagram is the social network that allows closer and more spontaneous contact with passengers, and it is in this virtual space that TAP shares inspirational images that all aviation fans love, it promotes dream destinations, curiosities and past journeys, pastimes and other news about the company. Every month, one TAP employee is invited to share their photographs on the official profile at instagram.com/tapportugal, to provide a little insight into behind the scenes at the airline. TAP has already used this site to show its more than 49,000 followers the hanger and maintenance work, interesting details of aircraft and of those who operate them, among other curiosities. Passengers are frequently encouraged to share images by using the hashtag #tapportugal, with more than 10,000 images shared in this way.
Twitter is another important social network where TAP is present. This is where news about the company is brought together, but it is increasingly becoming an important point of contact in terms of customer support, as is evident by the Socially Devoted badge recently attributed by Socialbakers.com. With around 26,000 followers accessing its profile through the user @taportugal every day, TAP is ready to communicate with its passengers, 140 characters at a time.
More recently, TAP created a profile on Pinterest (pinterest.com/tapportugal). This is a page where the curious can dream and where all are invited to travel to destinations on the TAP network, one pin at a time. The TAP brand is also present on LinkedIn where it shares its experiences and strategic vision with more than 35,000 followers.
In order to make sure that every TAP flight is a comfortable experience, the company offers the best service on the ground, in the air and in the palm of your hand: flight reservations, seat selection and check-in can all be done wherever your are, using the tools available for all mobile devices. The TAP app for smartphones, PCs and tablets —iOS, Android or Windows — is completely free and can be downloaded, in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, Italian and German, from the App Store, Google Play and the Windows Store.
The Digital Kiosk, which is available via the TAP app, provides in-flight reading material to your mobile device. This free service offers magazines and newspapers for download after check-in, with selected titles available to read offline on your smartphone or tablet.
In order to keep customers informed about their upcoming flights, TAP has launched an automatic notification service that will send passengers an email and text message. All passengers need do is provide their mobile phone number when they book, then they will be kept informed of their flight status and can access all the information they need for carefree travel.