TAP Air Portugal’s top-20 connecting markets; Porto – Sao Paulo #1

TAP Air Portugal

TAP Air Portugal has begun many new routes since the beginning of 2019 as part of its ‘new gateway to Europe’ strategy. Lisbon – Tel Aviv is one such new route. It began in March 2019 and now operates five-weekly using the A321LR.

TAP Air Portugal added 5.4 million passengers in the four years to 2019.  This was in direct contrast to the 2.6 million added between 2010 and 2016, which coincided with dire years of unprofitability.  TAP ended 2019 with 17.1 million, up from 15.8 million year-on-year.

Growth phase as part of ‘new gateway to Europe’

In 2019, TAP added a raft of new routes, including Lisbon to Basel, Chicago, Conakry, Dublin, Naples, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tenerife South (previous Skyscanner ‘Unserved Route of the Week‘) and Washington Dulles, and Porto to Brussels and Munich.  This year, TAP has announced Lisbon to Maceio, Montreal, and Santiago de Compostela, and Ponta Delgada to Boston. There’s no denying TAP’s newfound ambition as ‘the new gateway to Europe’, aided in part by its brand-new aircraft – A330-900s, A321LRs, A321neos, and A320neos – and significantly larger fleet.  However, work has just begun, with much more needed for financial success.

Brazil key for connections at country level

OAG Traffic Analyser estimates that 8.2 million passengers connected over Lisbon with TAP in the year to November 2019.  Not surprisingly, there was a strong connecting emphasis on Brazil.  This is reflected in the carrier’s top-five country-pairs, below, in this 12-month period:

  • Brazil – Italy: 238,418
  • Germany – Portugal: 237,397
  • Brazil – Portugal: 233,802
  • France – Portugal: 172,408
  • Brazil – France: 164,068

TAP’s top country-pair, Brazil – Italy, had eight airport-pairs with 10,000+ passengers; this includes Milan Malpensa to/from both Fortaleza (13,100) and Natal (12,100).  In 2020, TAP will serve 12 Brazilian destinations, with the A321LR playing an important role to smaller cities – Belem, Maceio, and Natal – in Northeast Brazil. 

Porto – Sao Paulo GRU leads top-20 markets

Porto – Sao Paulo GRU leads the top-20 connecting airport-pairs, although not by much.  TAP also currently operates Porto – GRU non-stop on a three-weekly basis with A330-200s.  While Paris Orly – Praia (Cape Verde), Luanda (Angola) – Porto, Dakar (Senegal) – Paris Orly, and Paris Orly – Sao Vicente (Cape Verde), feature for Africa, this will no doubt increase going forward given more emphasis by TAP on Northwest Africa and West Africa.  This is partly from geography, growth rates, and former colonies (including Cape Verde). 

TAP Air Portugal's top-20 connecting markets; Porto – Sao Paulo #1

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser.

Funchal and Porto stand out

Funchal, Madeira, and Porto feature notably in the top-20: Funchal seven times and Porto six. An estimated 375,000 connected over Lisbon to/from Funchal, almost all of which within Europe, especially Germany and France. Meanwhile, 587,000 connected over Lisbon to/from Porto, with almost 350,000 within Europe, especially Germany and Italy, and 104,000 to/from Brazil.


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