TAP Air Portugal marks successful operational year in 2023

A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A320 neo lifts off the runway.
Photo Credit: Catarina Madureira CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

TAP Air Portugal has reported its performance for 2023, marking a successful operational year for the carrier.

In overview, TAP carried a total of 15.9 million passengers, 2.1 million more than the previous year. This is equivalent to a growth of 15.2%, with other metrics showing 2023 as a recovery year for the airline.

UK Routes and Beyond

TAP’s bounceback was not confined to general growth. On UK routes, the airline saw a surge, carrying over 970,000 passengers – a 5.7% increase from 2022.

Further amplifying this is the attendant 4.9% growth in Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) compared to 2019 figures, highlighting TAP’s expanding footprint in the competitive aviation landscape.

Load Factor and Performance Metrics

TAP’s flight load factor reached an impressive 80.8%, a 0.8% improvement from 2022. This is already surpassing the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 by 0.7%.

 Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) stood out with a 16% increase from 2022 and a commendable 1.4% uptick from 2019, indicating a steady climb in operational efficiency.


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A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A321neo on the ramp.
Photo Credit: TAP Air Portugal

Long-Haul Performance

The airline’s stellar performance extended to long-haul routes, where TAP carried 4.6 million passengers, marking a 15.1% increase from 2022.

This is a substantial 9.8% rise compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, underscoring TAP’s global prominence.

Across the Atlantic: USA and Canada

Particularly noteworthy is TAP’s success on flights to the United States and Canada.

The airline carried 1.46 million passengers, an impressive 18.4% surge from 2022 and an astounding 39.5% leap compared to 2019. This is indicative of TAP’s growing popularity in North American markets.

Routes to Brazil

In routes to Brazil, TAP witnessed a robust growth, carrying over 1.9 million passengers, signifying a substantial 20.3% increase from 2022 and a commendable 8.4% rise from 2019.

TAP’s strong foothold in the South American market is clearly on display here.

Azores and Madeira

Closer to home, on routes to the Azores and Madeira, TAP carried 1.5 million passengers in the past year. This reflects a 13.2% growth from 2022 and a steady 5.7% increase from 2019.

An Incomplete Recovery

Despite the commendable growth, TAP acknowledges that it has not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, especially on mainland Portugal, Europe, and Africa routes.

The lingering impact of the pandemic is evident, with the airline still operating 7% below the total number of passengers carried in 2019.

It’s essential to note that TAP now operates fewer aircraft with fewer slots at Lisbon airport compared to 2019.

This is a result of the Restructuring Plan imposed by the European Commission, guiding TAP’s trajectory until 2025.

The airline navigates these challenges with resilience, adapting to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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