TAP Portugal, founded 1945 as Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, SGPS, S.A., commonly known as TAP, is the national airline of Portugal. TAP Portugal is 100% state owned and has its head office on the grounds of lt Portela Airport in Santa Maria dos Olivais, Lisbon, and has been a member of the Star Alliance since 14 March 2005, the same day on which the company celebrated its 60th anniversary. Its hub in Lisbon is a key European gateway at the crossroads of Africa, South America and lt North America. Privatisation of the airline was announced in 2011 as part of Portugal's €78 billion bailout agreed by the EU and the IMF. but negotiations stalled and may be continued in 2014.
According to the JACDEC Airliner Safety Report released in January 2011, TAP Portugal was rated Western Europe's safest airline and the world's fourth safest airline, only after Qantas, Finnair and Air New Zealand.
TAP's route network comprises 78 destinations in 34 countries worldwide. TAP operates almost 2,000 weekly flights with a fleet of 55 Airbus aircraft, and 16 further aircraft servicing regional subsidiary carrier's Portugália Airlines and PGA Express.
In 2011, TAP Portugal was elected World’s Leading Airline to Africa and, for the third consecutive year, TAP held on to the title of World’s Leading Airline to South America. The trophies were presented during the Grand Final Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards (WTA), considered the "Oscars" of the world travel industry.
Global Traveler Magazine named TAP Portugal 'Best Airline in Europe' for the year 2011, and again in 2013.
TAP originally meant Transportes Aéreos Portugueses (Portuguese Air Transportations). This was dropped in 1979 when the company changed its name to TAP Air Portugal, then dropped again to its current operational name, TAP Portugal.