- The Airbus A321 Long Range is the first TAP narrow body aircraft capable of operating long-haul routes, including transatlantic routes;
- The aircraft is already flying to European destinations and it has now been registered to begin flights to Tel Aviv and New York;
- By making the most of Portugal’s geographic position and TAP’s hub, the A321LR will give the TAP fleet greater flexibility and drive its profitability this summer.
It has 16 full-flat seats, four of which are individual, in executive class. It also offers more space in economy - equivalent to that available in the Airbus A330neo – with ergonomic and spacious seats, an entertainment system and in-flight connectivity that allows passengers to send an unlimited number of free text messages.
TAP’s first A321LR, with the code CS-TXA, is already operating on European routes. Since Wednesday, 22 May, it has been registered to also start flying on the Tel Aviv and New York routes.
The ability to operate transatlantic flights is one of the advantages of the A321LR that TAP can fully harness, due to Portugal’s geographic position. It means that these aircraft can operate from Porto and Lisbon to the east coast of the United States and to the northeast of Brazil.
As a result, the TAP fleet is more flexible, which will be useful to the company this summer with the increase in the number of passengers expected from the opening of new routes and increase in the number of flights.
TAP has made a number of investments over the last 12 months that are intended to improve its service. The company has employed more people, both for its flight operations (pilots and cabin crew) and for positions within the airports - including 70 new turnaround coordinators, whose job it is to coordinate ground activities associated with turning aircraft around between flights.
TAP has also been ensuring three aircraft are held in reserve (two medium-haul and one long-haul), to address any operating irregularities.
The many investments the company has made - recruiting more personnel and purchasing new equipment, as well as its focus on punctuality, have already been producing results throughout this year. The number of flights cancelled since the beginning of the year is down 75% compared to the previous year, which means TAP is now above the industry average.
In general, delays caused by internal factors have improved significantly across the board, and in particular delays caused by handling (-35%) and by crew (-54%). Punctuality between January and May improved by seven percentage points overall compared with the same period of the previous year, with levels above 80% in some months, excluding delays caused by weather or airport capacity.
“We are ready for the summer. We have done our bit. We have improved everything that depends on TAP. We are excited about the number of tickets booked for this summer and are confident the measures we have taken in the past 12 months will mean we will have a much better summer than last year”, said TAP’s CEO, Antonoaldo Neves.