NEW YORK, Nov. 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TAP Air Portugal has taken delivery of the world’s first new generation wide body A330neo today at Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters. As the launch airline, TAP will be the first to benefit from the aircraft’s unbeatable operating economics, increased range, and Airbus’ new Airspace cabin offering passengers the best-in-class comfort. The Portuguese carrier will take delivery of further 19 new Airbus A330-900neo until the end of 2019.

TAP Air Portugal’s first A330-900 features 298 seats in a comfortable three-class lay-out with 34 full-flat business class, 96 economy plus and 168 economy class seats. The Airspace by Airbus cabin offers more personal space, larger overhead storage bins, advanced cabin lighting and the latest generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity, such as Wi-Fi. The aircraft will be deployed on routes from Portugal to the Americas and Africa.

“I am delighted to welcome the first Airbus A330-900 into our expanding fleet. Its unbeatable economics and efficiency will power our business forward. The new Airbus A330-900neo consumes about 20% less fuel than our current fleet. By the end of next year, 37% of our medium haul fleet will have these new generation aircraft, and in the long haul fleet more than 70% of the block hours will be assured by these new aircraft,” said Antonoaldo Neves, TAP Air Portugal's CEO. “The A330neo will give us a lot of operational flexibility thanks to its commonality with the other Airbus aircraft in our fleet. This aircraft will be the first equipped with the new Airspace cabin, which is a new concept shaped to meet TAP’s ambition to offer the best product in the industry to our passengers,“ he added.

“Handing over the first ever A330neo to a long standing Airbus customer, TAP Air Portugal, is a very important milestone for Airbus,” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “Through continuous innovations, the A330neo, our newest wide body aircraft, will offer maximum value and efficiency to our customers and superior comfort to their passengers. This occasion marks another step forward to meeting our industry’s goal for sustainable aviation,” he added.

The A330neo is a true new generation aircraft building on the A330’s success and leveraging on A350 XWB technology. It incorporates the highly efficient new generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, and a new higher span 3D optimised wing with new sharklets fully optimized for the best aerodynamic performance. Together these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25 percent compared with older generation competitor aircraft of a similar size. Moreover, new composite nacelles, a fully-faired titanium pylon and zero-splice air inlet technology provide the A330-900 with state-of-the-art aerodynamics and acoustics.

Airbus and TAP already have a long and happy relationship, dating back to 1987, when TAP commissioned three Airbus A310 aircraft. Today, TAP Air Portugal operates an Airbus fleet of 72 aircraft: 18 A330s, four A340s and 50 from the A320 family (A319, A320 and A321).  

This year alone, TAP has already received six new Airbus aircraft: one Airbus A319ceo, one Airbus A320ceo, one A320-251neo, two A321-251neo - the last of which last week – and, now, TAP receives the first Airbus A330neo in the world for its long haul fleet.

In the making: First A330neo to TAP Air Portugal https://youtu.be/3xZDaMfIq7Y

About TAP Portugal

TAP is Portugal’s leading airline and a member of the global airline Star Alliance since 2005. Flying since 1945, TAP celebrated its 70th anniversary on March 14, 2015, before completing its privatization process later that year, now with the Atlantic Gateway Group as private shareholders.

TAP’s network comprises 84 destinations in 34 countries worldwide. The airline currently operates around 2,500 weekly flights, with a modern fleet of 63 Airbus aircraft.  TAP Express, the airline’s regional arm, operates an additional 17 aircraft.

With TAP’s privatization process, it has restructured its network, launched new fare products and is renewing its medium and long-haul fleet.  TAP has 53 Airbus neo aircraft on order and, by 2020, its long-haul fleet will either have been replaced with new aircraft or newly reconfigured aircraft.  TAP Express now operates a new fleet of 8 ATR 72 and 9 Embraer 190.

TAP is one of Europe’s most awarded airlines.  Global Traveler (USA) named TAP as Best Airline in Europe from 2011 to 2016, and the World Travel Awards named TAP as both Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa and Europe’s Leading Airline to South America from 2014 – 2017. Previously TAP was awarded World’s Leading Airline to Africa, in 2011 and 2012, and World’s Leading Airline to South America from 2009 through 2012.  TAP’s Inflight Magazine, UP, received the World Travel Award as Europe’s Leading In-flight Magazine for 2015, 2016 and 2017.  

Media contact:
Gareth Edmondson-Jones
GEJ, Ink
917 399-9355
GEJink@gmail.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/bdcc2150-8ab0-466c-ac58-5bb1482d6fa8