TAP Air Portugal Grew More Than 10 Percent in 2018; Carried Record 16 Million Passengers Last Year

The 73 Year Old Airline is Now One of the World’s Top 10 Fastest Growing Airlines; Adding Service from Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC this Year

NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TAP carried a total of 15.8 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 1.5 million over 2017, registering a growth of 10.4 percent over the previous year, well above the growth averages of airlines globally. 

Last year, Routes placed TAP Air Portugal in the top 10 fastest growing airlines in the world.  The airline’s network load factor for 2018 was 81 percent.

TAP's North American routes grew 9.6 percent, carrying an additional 70,000 passengers year over year, for a total of 800,000 on the routes.  In June this year, TAP is tripling service between Newark and Porto and adding service to Lisbon from three new US markets: Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

TAP’s European routes (excluding Portugal), carried 932,000 passengers more than in 2017, for 10.7 percent growth, to a total of almost 10 million people flying on the routes.

On flights between Lisbon, Porto and Faro, TAP transported -- for the first time -- more than one million passengers, reaching a record 1.1 million, representing a growth of 9.4 percent over the previous year.

The flights between the mainland and the Azores and Madeira recorded the highest relative growth of 13.5 percent, totaling 1.3 million passengers, 156,000 more than the previous year.

TAP’s African routes showed considerable passenger growth, with 116,000 more flying than in 2017, for a total of 1.1 million passengers, or an increase of 11.3 percent.

The airline’s routes to Brazil also continued to see a strong increase in the number of passengers transported over the past year.  In total, TAP transported 1.7 million passengers between Portugal and Brazil, to and from the 11 cities it serves in the country, which increased 124,000 people over 2017, for 7.8 percent growth.

As for the main indicators used in the air transport industry, in terms of ASK (available seat kilometers, a measure of available seats), TAP had, in 2018, a 12.3 percent growth, for a total of 47 million.  The RPK (Revenue Passenger Kilometers, a measure for seat demand) increased by 9.6 percent to a total of 38 million.  Both indicators show that the TAP growth is well above the industry growth averages at European and global level.

With an increase in supply (ASK) of 2.7 percentage points higher than the increase in demand (RPK), the load factor was 81 percent, two percentage points less than in 2017, placing TAP's occupancy rate at levels similar to the average of other European companies (81.7 percent) and above the world average which, in 2018, was close to 80 percent (publicly released data by IATA relating to the cumulative until November, 2018).

About TAP Air Portugal
TAP is Portugal’s leading airline and a member of the global airline Star Alliance since 2005. Flying since 1945, TAP celebrated its 70th anniversary on March 14, 2015, before completing its privatization process later that year, now with the Atlantic Gateway Group as private shareholders.

TAP’s network comprises 84 destinations in 34 countries worldwide. The airline currently operates around 2,500 weekly flights, with a modern fleet of 63 Airbus aircraft.  TAP Express, the airline’s regional arm, operates an additional 17 aircraft.

With TAP’s privatization process, it has restructured its network, launched new fare products and is renewing its medium and long-haul fleet.  TAP has 53 Airbus neo aircraft on order and, by 2020, its long-haul fleet will either have been replaced with new aircraft or newly reconfigured aircraft.  TAP Express now operates a new fleet of 8 ATR 72 and 9 Embraer 190.

TAP is one of Europe’s most awarded airlines.  Global Traveler (USA) named TAP as Best Airline in Europe from 2011 to 2016, and the World Travel Awards named TAP as both Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa and Europe’s Leading Airline to South America from 2014 – 2017. Previously TAP was awarded World’s Leading Airline to Africa, in 2011 and 2012, and World’s Leading Airline to South America from 2009 through 2012.  TAP’s Inflight Magazine, UP, received the World Travel Award as Europe’s Leading In-flight Magazine for 2015, 2016 and 2017.  

Media contact:
Gareth Edmondson-Jones
GEJ, Ink
917 399-9355

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ac60e29d-a786-4445-b1d2-cc6509773fc0 

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