Today in Qatar, 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, taking home two awards this year. The trophies were presented during the Grand Final Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards (WTA), considered the “Oscars” of the world travel industry.
Created for the purpose of recognising, awarding and celebrating excellence in all business sectors in the world travel and tourism industry, the World Travel Awards are the most prestigious in the industry.
In this 2011 edition, more than 160 countries around the world participated in the process of electing the best brands in the world of travel and tourism, with more than 213,000 professionals in the travel sector voting, including travel agents, tourism operators and organisations, among others.
“It is an enormous honour and it gives all of us at TAP great satisfaction today to receive these two coveted WTA awards, recognising us as the world’s leading airline to Africa and reaffirming our leadership in South America for the third consecutive year”, remarked Luiz Mór, Executive Administrator of TAP, on the occasion of the award.
“This distinction serves as recognition of all the hard work and persistent efforts that TAP has put into developing the airline over the last several year years, both in Africa and in South America, bringing these continents closer to Europe, under the same guiding principle: welcoming its passengers with arms wide open. On behalf of TAP, I heartily accept these awards. They not only serve as an incentive for us to continue working and focusing on these markets, but they also remind us of the increasing responsibility we have to our customers and business partners, encouraging us to continue to improve on an everyday basis.”
Directly competing with some of the most well-known mega-carriers around the world, TAP topped airlines like British Airways, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, South African Airways, Turkish Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways for the Africa award. In the competition for leadership in South America, TAP beat out American Airlines, British Airways, Continental, KLM, Lufthansa and United Airlines.
With the inauguration of three new routes to Africa last year, TAP now serves 13 destinations on the continent, operating up to 75 flights a week. Over the past decade, the airline has significantly strengthened is presence in Africa, going from serving only seven destinations in 2001 to the 13 destinations the airline currently serves. Volume of traffic has also seen a 2.6-fold increase, with more than 617,100 passengers carried last year compared to 235,200 ten years ago.
In Brazil –where TAP has been market leader for several years – the airline operates flights to 10 destinations, also reaching as many as 75 weekly flights. Having topped the 1.5 million passenger mark in 2011, which corresponds to a 7.3 percent increase over 2010, the airline’s occupancy rate was around 83 percent on its Brazil routes.
Winners of the WTAs – which will commemorate their 19-year anniversary in 2012 and which are considered the highest award that a travel industry product can achieve – are chosen through an online voting process, primarily by professionals in the field of Tourism and Travel from around the world as well as by the general public.
Graham E. Cooke, founder and president of the World Travel Awards, highlighted the strong points of the nominees of the night when he said, “In times of economic uncertainty, world-class brands assert themselves, continuing to increase their market share while their competitors vacillate; these are the traits that set them apart, traits that characterise all the travel brands that have made it to our grand final in Doha.”
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