TAP lifts off with passenger volume up 22.7% in a year
In addition to EDP, another privatisation that is raking in the cash is Portugal’s formerly State-owned national airline which carried more than 14.2 million passengers last year, a credit to Gateway, the new shareholder at TAP whose experience is paying off.
Last year, TAP transported 14,274,000 passengers, 2.55 million more than in 2016, a growth of 21.7% over the year.
TAP management says the all important occupancy rate for seats went up by 4.3%, to 82.9%.
The Lisbon-Oporto route carried more passengers in 2017, “a total of 726,000, 8% more than in 2016,” said the airline which also opened a new route to Toronto – joining the routes to Boston and New York JFK which started in 2016 and showed 50% like-for-like growth in 2017.
Flights to Brazil were up 14%, with TAP transporting 1.6 million passengers. For the first time on African routes, TAP hit the one million passenger mark, with 29% more seats sold.
It has been the European routes where the number of passengers increased the most, with 1.6 million more flying than in 2016, a record 8.7 million, 22% more than in 2016.
Even TAP Cargo closed 2017 with a growth rate of 25%.
David Neeleman and Humberto Pedrosa, the controllers of the Gateway consortium that successfully bid for the rights to run TAP and that owns a shade under 50% of the former State-owned company, are succeeding where State appointed management had failed. It helps that Neeleman actually has previous experience in running an airline.
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