Introducing TAP Air Portugal’s Airspace
LAUNCH DATE: The first A321 neo LR joined the fleet in April 2019.
In April 2019 TAP Air Portugal received its first A321 neo LR and began the roll out of its new transatlantic capability, offering premium wide-body comfort and service in the single-aisle aircraft cabin.
TAP Air Portugal is the first airline to operate a combined A330 neo and A321 LR fleet and is doing so in a deliberate bid to offer a more consistent passenger experience and more comfortable flights across its network. The personal space on the LRs mirrors that of the A330s and the new aircraft features the ‘Airspace’ cabin plus full-flat beds in Business class, (with only six step-overs), extra legroom for Economy Xtra seats, and even good legroom and large screens in the seats at the back of the aircraft.
The A321 neo LR fits perfectly with TAP Air Portugal’s goals, as the team is looking for innovative ways to reduce costs and emissions while pushing the passenger experience higher and harmonising the fleet’s comfort standards. The A321 neo LR will play a key role in the airline’s expansion strategy allowing it to better leverage the unique position of its Lisbon hub and explore new routes, as well as reinforcing its position on existing services across the Atlantic.
The A321 neo LR’s cabin design is part of a global TAP Air Portugal repositioning strategy, created in response to a more competitive and demanding market. The design teams worked together to improve passenger comfort and harmonise the cabin design of the whole fleet.
Two strong concepts were key to the launch: to create a feeling of home onboard and to reflect the local Portuguese heritage of the home nation.These focal points for the brief were developed to create a modern, appealing design language and new competitive class segmentation.
The project began by briefing all suppliers from the OEM to seat and liner manufacturers, and included the design of the seats, lavatories, lighting and branding. The definition of all cabin colours, materials and trims was to create a home-like, bright environment with neutral tones and colour details.
The comfortable sense of home was achieved through a combination of materials such as the fabrics used for comfort cushions combined with the wooden decors. The specific Portuguese cultural influence came through decorative elements on pillows and duvets, based on the patterns of Portuguese tile design; the use of high-quality Portuguese natural leather, and the use of lively colours which match the country’s established branding.
The design concepts are connected throughout the cabin to create a completely new passenger experience reflecting a modern, trendy, yet timeless cabin design. From the welcome panel in the entrance, to the seat covers and seat tags, to the inflight service and local Portuguese products, a holistic approach has been applied to create a unique TAP Air Portugal brand experience.
All cabin elements were redesigned in the Airspace cabin to match the airline’s service standards including the entrance and galley design, lavatories, overhead bins and moodlighting. State-of-the art seat products feature the latest advancements in ergonomics, comfort, material quality and aesthetics. The Business cabin full-flat bed has increased storage room; while the Economy Xtra and Economy seats feature large screens and a greater personal space.
The new TAP A321 neo LR allows the airline to provide a consistent passenger experience and more comfortable flight in three separate classes: Business with full-flat beds, Economy Xtra with great legroom, and Economy with good legroom and large IFE screens.
Business seats offer charging points, reading lights, noise cancelling headphones and specific storage space for the passenger. The new IFE system provides the latest content in movies, TV series and documentaries. Economy Xtra provides greater legroom, state-of-the art comfort seating with a larger reclining angle, and a new IFE system. Economy offers good legroom in a modern, comfortable seat and an excellent IFE system. All passengers enjoy the moodlighting system, which provides different light and colour moods according to different flight phases to enhance passenger wellbeing and help counter jet lag. The lavatories have been redesigned and an improved inflight service is offered.
While presenting the most contemporary technology and top cabin comfort in its class, the newest-generation single-aisle A321 neo LR and widebody A330 neo, allow TAP Air Portugal to achieve an unrivalled commonality across its operations, and passengers experience a higher, more harmonised standard of comfort. Both aircraft offer passengers the same product level and together ensure a seamless experience.
TAP Air Portugal’s long-term strategy includes a strong focus on sustainability: economical, environmental and social, and this project contributes to all three. This aircraft delivers 20% fuel savings and nearly 50% reduction in noise footprint compared with the previous-generation competitor aircraft. It incorporates state-of-the-art technology focused on the passenger experience, while reducing the carbon footprint, improving overall efficiency, and contributing to the development of local products and industries.
With a range of up to 7,400km the A321 neo LR is the unrivalled long-range route opener, featuring true transatlantic capability and premium wide-body comfort in a single aisle aircraft cabin.
TAP is the first airline to operate a combined A330 neo and A321 LR fleet, bringing sustainability, and a consistent product and service excellence to all its fleet.