TAP pays homage to Nuno Álvares Pereira

The airline pays homage to the Saint Constable by baptizing its Airbus A330neo CS-TUM, now crossing the skies on intercontinental routes. 

 Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira, also known as the Saint Constable, was a leading Portuguese figure in terms of military prowess, religion and even popular culture and his name has now been immortalised on the TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330neo CS-TUM. On the day when people celebrate the Saint Constable’s feast day, TAP Air Portugal also paid him homage by adding his name to the TAP fleet alongside other great names of Portugal’s history, such as King Afonso Henriques, King Dinis, Queen Maria II or the Marquis of Pombal.

Although no-one is certain where or when exactly he was born (1360?, Paço do Bonjardim or Flor da Rosa), Álvares Pereira’s brilliant career as a military genius and the strategist who guaranteed Portugal’s independence was widely recorded by Fernão Lopes, presumably in 1450, in Crónica de El-Rei D. João I (Chronicles of King João I). During the 1383 crisis caused by the death of King Fernando I who left no heirs, Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira took command of the Portuguese army and caused heavy defeats to the Spanish at the battles of Atoleiros and Aljubarrota, ensuring the country’s independence and the crown for King João I. As a strategist, the Saint Constable commanded a substantially smaller force than his enemy but won all his battles and inspired his men with his many virtues.

He left the military life behind in 1423, at a time when he was one of the country’s richest and most powerful men, to join the Carmelite Order. He bequeathed his goods and adopted the name of Nuno de Santa Maria and began handing out alms to Lisbon’s neediest. This was when the people started calling him the Saint Constable. The Roman Catholic church canonised him in 2009, almost 600 years after his death in 1431.

Nuno Álvares Pereira has been immortalised in various forms of art such as his statue in an arch on Lisbon’s Rua Augusta, a statue of him on horseback beside the Monastery in Batalha, and there is also his presence in literature. Luís de Camões refers to him 14 times in his epic poem Os Lusíadas, calling him “strong Nuno”. TAP now takes the name of one of Portuguese history’s most distinguished leaders even further on the long-haul routes flown by its A330neo CS-TUM.