TAP Enhances the Portuguese Experience

Michelin Star Chefs And Top Portuguese Wines on Flights

By: - Dec 01, 2017

Confidence in the airline that you fly is essential.  Allegiance to that particular airline normally follows. And if you choose correctly, similar to a life partner, the future blossoms together.

Recently, I discovered the many advantages of of TAP Airlines, a Portuguese based carrier.

TAP has been upping its game for years. The airline has both public and private ownership and has recently ordered fifty-three (53) Airbus jets, preparing for their promising future. (There are estimates of 15.5 million passengers in 2018.)

In Business class, fully flat seats have created a necessary comfort zone for transatlantic flights.

TAP is an award-winning airline, well respected for its wine service. The broadened  selection of small producer Portuguese wines on its international routes exemplifies what Portugal is about. Five (5) Michelin Star Portuguese chefs contribute the various gourmet courses served in both Business and Economy class. A handful of wine experts blind tasted hundreds of wines onboard the airline before choosing the wines that will be served onboard. If you are unaware, wine at sea level does not taste the same in flight. The profile is different.

Abilio Martins, a TAP Marketing executive, in conjunction with his marketing staff, led by Joel Fragata, shared TAP’s vision.

Martins elaborated extensively. “We, meaning Portugal, have the ‘Best Wines in the World. There are many undiscovered wines.  Believe me, its true. Portugal is a small country that has a large selection of wines, whether the wine is made with one grape or the wine is a blend. Our wines, still, are the best kept secret. Once you start drinking our wines you can’t stop. We want to show the world our wines and want to increase the sales of Portuguese wine. Each person who flies TAP should have the best opportunity to taste the best food and wine in the country. TAP wants to give our passengers the opportunity to fully understand Portugal through our in-flight food and wine experience. Its 70F today (November) and this is winter. Imagine, we have it all in Portugal. Our campaign is about modes. Its time to switch to wine tasting mode-its time to switch to food mode-its time to switch to sunny modes-Portugal is a country of many modes. Our long term goal, jointly, with the National Tourist Board is to take care of each and every tourist that visits our country. TAP’s job is to become Portugal’s flying ambassador by utilizing the wine and food experience. Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring some of our Portuguese wines we served on board the flight home with you?”

After further discussion, Martins explained that the food onboard TAP’s flights has been the creation of five Michelin Star Chefs who have chosen to cook their own and traditional Portuguese recipes. In tandem with the chefs selections, the wines, like the food, rotate every three months. A new menu with new wines four times a year helps set TAP apart from other airlines. The wines chosen by the experts' blind scores are chosen and ultimately, the TAP plan would allow passengers to purchase these wines onboard the flight and redeem their bottles upon their airport departure. Details haven't been worked out, but, it is in the pipeline.

The marketing staff at TAP has opened the door to a new way of doing airline business. The recently introduced ‘Stopover’ concept is a unique opportunity to visit two places for the price of one. You can do this if your flight is either a round trip or one way. If your final destination is the Azores, Algarve or Madeira, you can stop off up to five (5) nights in either Lisbon or Porto, at no extra charge. You select your destination and the number of nights with your hotel choice. Several partner restaurants at your destination will give you a bottle of wine with your meal.