JANUARY 14TH, 2016
TAP launches 'Porto - Lisbon Shuttle' and creates 'TAP Express' with a new fleet
• TAP EXPRESS will operate a new fleet of 8 ATR 72 and 9 Embraer 190 aircraft and increase capacity by 47%
• More comfortable and ‘silent’ fleet, with 40% lower fuel consumption per passenger
• New fleet evaluated in 400 million EUR
• New Porto-Lisbon shuttle with flights every hour and prices starting at € 39 EUR
• Network restructure strengthens TAP positioning in key markets with greater potential
• New measures will allow TAP to improve its annual operating profit in 60 million EUR
TAP Express is the new branded product launched by TAP to replace PGA as of next March 27, 2016. Up to July, the company will renew its entire fleet, which includes 17 aircraft and is evaluated in the amount of 400 million EUR.
With such a fleet in operation, TAP Express will become the most efficient regional airline in Europe.
TAP Express consolidates the commercial designation of the Portuguese airline and reinforces its identity, thus granting a more consistent brand and product.
The addition of a new aircraft along with the renewal of the entire fleet operated by TAP Express will allow the company to improve services provided to Customers, not only in comfort but in operational regularity and punctuality as well. With eight ATR 72 aircraft displaying 70 seats and nine Embraer 190 with capacity for 110 passengers each in operation, TAP Express’ seat capacity will increase to 47%, that is to say, it will grow from 1070 to 1514 the total number of seats available.
The ATR 72 aircraft are currently the most efficient and noiseless ones in the market, while the Embraer 190, whose cabin displays comfortable seats (in a configuration of 2 rows X 2 seats), are often considered as the most comfortable aircraft in its segment by passengers.
TAP Express new fleet is more efficient, enabling fuel consumption and carbon emissions reductions in 40%, and will now have an average age of only 2 years against the average 21 years of the fleet so far operated by PGA.
The fast phase-in of those new aircraft in the company’s fleet will only be possible thanks to the existing cooperation between the Portuguese TAP and the Brazilian Azul, which results into different and reciprocal synergies for the benefit of both airlines. As the Brazilian Azul is currently the airline operating the largest Embraer and ATR fleet worldwide, that has granted it a considerable negotiating strength that is now beneficial to TAP. On the other hand, the Embraer and ATR fleet operated by Azul is already maintained by TAP Maintenance & Engineering.
Porto gains Shuttle services to Lisbon and keeps intercontinental flights in operation
With the phase-in of a new fleet, TAP was able to redesign its operational strategy to better serve Porto, the Portuguese destination that from next March 27 onward will benefit from the launch of a shuttle service with flights every hour and one way tickets with prices starting at 39 EUR. This is the type of operation frequently offered in different countries to connect main domestic destinations. This Porto – Lisbon shuttle, designated as “Ponte Aérea”, offers 16 daily roundtrip flights operated with the TAP Express new aircraft and also with the A320’s in periods and hours of the day with stronger demand.
With prices starting at 39 EUR, the new Porto – Lisbon shuttle offers high quality product and services, such as dedicated check-in desks and boarding gates as well as fast and easy passenger boarding.
TAP Porto – Lisbon “Ponte Aérea” will considerably benefit Customers from Northern Portugal in their point-point connections to Lisbon, now providing them with even better connectivity to the whole TAP network.
All TAP long haul operations departing Porto will remain unchanged, with direct flights to Newark, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, along with direct flights to Madeira and to several European destinations as well.
Network restructure reinforces TAP positioning in key markets with greater potential
After having thoroughly analysed its operations scheme, TAP has restructured its Network, in effect as of March 27, 2016, with minor changes introduced. Those include the frequency decrease or discontinuing of operations to a few unprofitable routes as well as the reinforcement of services to markets with stronger demand, which altogether will boost the company’s annual operating results in 60 million EUR.
TAP also reinforces its operations to some destinations already served, with the offer of 124 additional frequencies every week.
When announcing the news at a Press conference held today at TAP Headquarters in Lisbon, Fernando Pinto, TAP CEO, said: “TAP is making history these days, progressing step by step to become more competitive and efficient, a company able to meet its Customers’ needs and expectations and strongly committed to deliver high quality services to Portugal and all the markets served. With the investments already underway, which include the order for 53 new Airbus aircraft; € 60 million in retrofitting the cabin interiors of our current fleet; 11 million in retrofitting 12 A320 family aircraft with sharklet technology; 2 million in a new digital reservations platform and the increase and complete renovation of the company’s regional fleet today announced, TAP can now look ahead into the future with complete confidence knowing it is fit and ready to become stronger and better able to further enhance its already significant contribution to the Portuguese national economy and to the affirmation of Portugal worldwide as well”.