National airline TAP Air Portugal has been voted “Best Airline Company in Europe” by readers of Global Traveler magazine, an American travel and tourism publication aimed at the business traveller and frequent flyer.
The Portuguese carrier was recognised for its efforts in the competitive North American market, especially the work targeting the corporate segment, and was praised for the high quality of its product and its Lisbon hub, acknowledged as a strategic platform for connections between North America and Europe.
Readers were asked to identify their favourite carrier through a series of questions divided into 17 different categories that included best hospitality, the most advantageous loyalty programmes and other products associated with the travel and tourism sector.
It was the third time in a row that TAP had scooped the magazine’s ‘Best Airline Company in Europe’ title, having previously won in 2011 and 2012. This year saw the panel sift through 22,000 answers to the questionnaire, which ran from January 1 to August 31. The award ceremony took place in Los Angeles on December 10.
Other winners included Singapore Airlines, voted “Best Airline Company in the World”. Incheon Airport in South Korea was considered the best airport in the world. Ireland, meanwhile, won the “Best Tourist Destination” category. The Free-Shop at Dubai’s airport was also distinguished, and the five-star luxury hotel The Address Downtown Dubai was voted “Best Hotel in the World”.
As well as consolidating its North American product, TAP Air Portugal has played a significant role in the growth of international flight connections from Europe to South America.
According to figures released by Embratur, the Brazilian Tourism Board, international flight connections to Brazil in September increased by 5.2% over the same period last year. This is due to the frequency of air traffic between the two continents, and the role of TAP in the growth of direct connections, the tourism board added.
Next year during the World Cup Championships, TAP will operate a guaranteed 81 flights per week between Europe and Brazil. TAP is the biggest operator of flights between the two destinations, connecting the European continent with 15 Brazilian cities.
In 2014, Rio de Janeiro will receive 14 inbound TAP flights per week, one more than at present and will remain the most popular flight destination in the country.
In addition, the cities of Salvador de Bahia and Belo Horizonte, which currently receive six weekly flights apiece, will each benefit from daily connections. Porto Alegre will see its weekly operation increase by one extra to six flights per week, while Natal will also benefit from a further connection, from three to four flights per week.
The expected influx of football fans also means that Belém and Manaus are to become TAP destinations, with each city receiving three flights a week from June 3. These new operations will complement existing routes to São Paulo (13 flights a week), Campinas (3 weekly flights) and Fortaleza, Recife and Brasília (with daily flights).
TAP Air Portugal has long been recognised as the principal airline linking Europe with Brazil. The carrier has been acknowledged no less than four times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) by the World Travel Awards as “Best Airline Company” serving the two continents.
The latest honour bestowed upon it by Global Traveler confirms TAP’s status as a preferred trans-Atlantic carrier.