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TAP brings African destinations into global airline alliance

afrol News, 16 March - TAP, Portugal's leading airliner, this week formally joined the airline network Star Alliance, thus increasing the access to several African destinations for world travellers. TAP destinations in Africa include the Cape Verde Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Luanda (Angola), Maputo (Mozambique) and Săo Tomé and Príncipe.

At a joining ceremony held in Lisbon on Monday, representatives of the Star Alliance welcomed TAP Portugal as their 16th member. With Portugal’s leading airline having joined, the airline network now offers its customers "an even greater choice of flights, especially in Europe, on the South Atlantic as well as to and from North America and Africa," the alliance said in a statement.

The inclusion of TAP in the Star Alliance gives frequent flyers between Lisbon and Portugal's ex-colonies in Africa several advantages. Booking at TAP Portugal is now directly connected to 15 other airliners, thus enabling travellers to book a flight between Maputo and a local destination in for example Poland on one single ticket.

Frequent TAP flyers further now have access to the entire Star Alliance network, meaning that their bonuses will be valid on flights by other airliners in the alliance. Equally, travellers on airliners such as Air Canada, Lufthansa (Germany), SAS (Scandinavia), Singapore Airlines, Spanair (Spain), Thai, United Airlines (USA) and Varig (Brazil) now have an easier access to destinations in five African countries.

- We are pleased to welcome TAP as our newest member carrier, said Jaan Albrecht, CEO of Star Alliance. "With TAP, Star Alliance has again improved its network quality, thereby adding to our customer proposition and further strengthening our leading position among the aviation alliances," Mr Albrecht continued.

Fernando Pinto, CEO of TAP Portugal on Monday added that his company was "extremely happy" to have joined the alliance. "Our employees have worked hard over the past years to achieve the company's turnaround, which has now culminated in the recent launch of our new corporate image and today's joining of Star Alliance. We all at TAP look forward to welcoming and serving all Star Alliance customers."

As a Star Alliance member, TAP Portugal will begin to participate and sell the alliance's fare products during the course of the next month. For example, customers purchasing Round-the-World fares can then include TAP flights to for example Africa in their itinerary. The same is true for the European Airpass, which now includes all of TAP's European routes.

All in all, the Star Alliance member carriers now offer more than 15,000 daily flights covering some 795 destinations in 139 countries. Established in 1997, the global airline network now includes TAP Portugal's total of 42 destinations in 25 different countries worldwide. TAP, which was established exactly 60 years ago, has developed into the leading European carrier in operation to Brazil.

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