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7JetSet7 Code: POR
Status: Operational
Region: EUROPE
Employees 750
Web: flypga.com
Email: cs@pga.pt
Telephone: +351 21 842 5500
Fax: +351 21 842 5623

Click below for data links:

Formed in 1988 and started operations in 1990. Formerly Companhia Portugesa de Transportes Aereos, and Portugalia. Domestic, regional, and international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.

Lisbon Airport
Rua C, Edificio 70
P-1749-078 Lisbon, Portugal


January 2005: 1,000 employees.

Plans to join the SkyTeam (STM) alliance in 2005.

September 2006: (TAP) Portugal said that it is pursuing "potential acquisition [or] shareholder participation" in rival (PGA) - Portugalia Airlines (POR). "The process is in its initial phase and no formal commitment has yet been entered into by the interested parties," the company said. (TAP) is working with the Espirito Santo Financial Group.

(TAP) has reached an agreement in principal to acquire (POR). The deal is expected to be finalized at the end of the year.

October 2006: (TAP) Portugal hopes to conclude the purchase of (PGA) Portugalia Airlines (POR), that has been 6 years in the making, (CEO), Fernando Pinto told the European Aviation Club in Brussels.

(TAP) intends to buy nearly all the shares in (POR). Presently, Grupo Espirito Santo owns 84.34% of (POR), which employs 745. Pinto did not disclose the purchase price, but said it is "well below the $150 million I read in the press." He added that (TAP) is buying (POR) without its debt.

The acquisition is subject to approval by the Portuguese competition authority. "We don't expect they will object, yet it is possible they will request some remedies. This is normal procedure," Pinto noted. (POR) was established in 1988, but did not start services until 2 years later, owing to a delay in air transport liberalization. It operates 6 F 100s, 2 Saab 2000s, 8 Embraer ERJ-145s and 1 E190 to 23 domestic and European destinations.

1 F 100 (YR-FKB), Carpatair wet-leased, while (POR)'s airplanes are in maintenance.

June 2007: (TAP) Portugal's acquisition of (PGA) Portugalia Airlines (POR) has been cleared by the country's competition authority (ADC), which last month imposed 7 conditions on the merger, including a limitation of frequencies between Lisbon and Porto, in order to open the route to competing carriers. (TAP) paid approximately Ä140 million for (POR), following several years of on-again-off-again negotiations and said it aims to integrate the 2 airlines fully by the end of September.

November 2007: (PGA) - Portugalia Airlines (POR) is a Portugese regional airline, operating scheduled, domestic and international jet airplane flights from Lisbon and Porto, together with charters to Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Belgium.

Parent organization/shareholders: (TAP) Portugal (99.81%).

Employees = 750.

(IATA) Code: NI - 685. (ICAO): PGA (Callsign - PORTUGALIA).


(http://www.flypga.com). (flypga@flypga.com).

(http://www.pga.pt). (pga@pga.pt).

Alliances: Air Europa (ARE); Air France (AFA); Hi Fly (LXA); (KLM); Regional Air Lines; & (TAP) Portugal.

(POR) is to join the Star Alliance (SAL) in 2008.

Main Base: Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS).

Hub: Porto Airprot (OPO).

Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Faro; Lisbon; Madeira; & Porto.

International, Scheduled Destinations: Alicante; Amsterdam; Barcelona; Basel/Mulhouse; Bilbao; Bologna; Bordeaux; Brussels; Casablanca; Copenhagen; Frankfurt; Fuertaventura; La Coruna; Lanzarote; Las Palmas; London; Lyons; Madrid; Malaga; Marseille; Milan (MXP); Munich; Nice; Palma de Mallorca; Pamplona; Paris; Rome; Tenerife; Toulouse; Valencia; & Zurich.

December 2007: (TAP) Portugal expects to report positive results for 2007, its 2nd straight year in the black, despite increasing competition from low-cost carriers (LCC)s. "All parameters are good, even very good, and they would have been a lot better, if we did not face these very high fuel prices," (CEO) Fernando Pinto said during the Star Alliance (SAL) meeting in Beijing. (TAP) made +Ä7.3 million/+$11.4 million in 2006. Passenger numbers will rise by approximately +10% to 7 million this year, Pinto revealed, with one-eighth traveling on long-haul routes. "We're progressing well in Europe, even with the competition of the (LCC)s. There are now 35 (LCC)s operating to Portugal," he noted, adding with amusement, "We have them all." He said (TAP) intends to stick to its full-service model. The integration of (PGA) Portugalia Airlines (POR), the regional operator it acquired for Ä140 million, is complete. "We've been flying together since July," Pinto said. He does not plan to replace or renew (POR)'s 17 F 100s and ERJ-145s. "To the contrary," he laughed. "We paid for them, we intend to fly them." However, a planned +20% increase in block hours currently is not feasible owing to a pilot (FC) shortage. He also claimed that (TAP) will strengthen its position as the largest international carrier into Brazil, when it launches 5x-weekly Lisbon to Belo Horizonte flights on February 11. The A330 service will bring to 8, the number of destinations it serves in Brazil and to 65 the number of weekly frequencies. It will add a 6th weekly rotation to its Lisbon to Brasilia service on February 12. "We found a niche in Brazil and linking the country to our hub in Lisbon has been very successful," he said. In the 1st 9 months, (TAP) carried >700,000 passengers between the countries, up +16% on the year-ago period.

April 2009: Portugalia Airlines (POR) pilots (FC) have scheduled 1-day strikes for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, parent (TAP) Portugal said. The stoppages, which are "over pay and conditions," would "result in severe delays and/or flight cancellations between London Gatwick and Porto," (TAP) said. Attempts will be made to accommodate customers on (TAP) flights from London Heathrow (LHR) if the strikes occur. "(TAP) senior management is doing all possible to avoid work stoppages by negotiating with the appropriate authorities. They are optimistic that the issues between the 2 parties can be resolved without the need for a strike," it said.

January 2010: (TAP) is still flying 16 airplanes in (PGA) Portugalia Airlines (POR) livery, although it bought (POR) back in 2006.

July 2011: As the national airline, (TAP) Portugal (TAP) operates jet airplanes and serves 64 destinations in 30 countries in Africa, Europe, North, and South America. (TAP) is Europe's leading provider of services to Brazil. Regional subsidiary, PGA - Portugalia Airlines (POR) operates scheduled domestic and international flights from Lisbon and Porto together with European charter flights.

6,973 employees.

(IATA) Code: TP - 047. (ICAO) Code: TAP (Callsign - AIR PORTUGAL).

Parent organization/shareholders: Portugese government (100%).

Airline subsidiaries: (PGA) - Portugalia Airlines (POR) (100%).

Alliances: Star (SAL) Alliance; Aegean Airlines (CRM); Air China (BEJ); Alitalia (ALI); Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA); Egypyair (EGP); Linhas Aereas de Mozambique (LAM); (S7) Airlines (SBR); SATA International (SAP); South African Airways (SAA); Swiss International Airlines (CSR); (TACV) - Cabo Verde Airlines (TCV); (TAM) Linhas Aereas (TPR); Turkish Airlines (THY); and Ukraine International Airlines (UKR).

Main Base: Lisbon Portela airport (LIS).

Hubs: Funchal airport (FNC); Porto airport (OPO); & Faro airport (FAO).

Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Faro; Funchal; Horta; Lisbon; Ponta Delgada; Porto; Porto Santo; & Terceira.

International, Scheduled Destinations: Amsterdam; Barcelona; Bissau; Brussels; Budapest; Caracas; Copenhagen; Dakar; Fortaleza; Frankfurt; Geneva; Johannesburg; London; Luanda; Luxembourg; Madrid; Maputo; Milan; Munich; Natal; New York; Oslo; Paris; Prague; Recife; Rio de Janeiro; Rome; Sal; Salvador; Sao Paulo; Sao Tome Island; Stockholm; Venice; & Zurich.

Swiss AS said Portugalia Airlines (POR) has chosen the maintenance management solution (AMOS) to cover its entire fleet. Implementation, which is slated to take 10 months, has begun.

April 2014: (TAP) Portugal will deploy its 2 ATR42-600s, (1002, CS-TRU) and (1005, CS-TRV), on flights from Lisbon to Asturias, Seville, and Tangiers with effect from July 1.

Wet-leased from White ((IATA) Code: WI, based at Lisbon) (YES), the flights will be operated for (TAP) Portugal subsidiary, (PGA) Portugalia Airlines ((IATA) Code: NI, based at Lisbon) (POR).

June 2014: ATR72-202 (303, EC-LNQ), Helitt Lineas Aereas wet-leased.

February 2016: Portugese flag-carrier (TAP) is to establish a new regional division, (TAP) Express, which will operate E-jets and ATR turboprops, and position itself as a successor to regional subsidiary Portugalia (POR) from the end of March.

The fleet will be modernized to comprise 9 Embraer E190s and 8 ATR72s to increase its regional capacity by +47%. For many recent years, Portugalia (POR) has operated Embraer ERJ-145s and Fokker F 100s as well as ATR42s.

(POR)'s fleet averages 21 years of age, and new aircraft will reduce this figure to just 2 years.

The fast phase-in of aircraft will benefit from the recent co-operation between (TAP) and Brazil's Azul (AZL), as well as the Atlantic Consortium, including Azul (AZL) Founder David Neeleman.

August 2016: E190-100LR (0493, CS-7PS), ex-(PP-PJQ) from Azul (AZL) to (TAP) Express.

October 2016: E190-100LR (0432, CS-TPO), (AZL) leased.

December 2016: 2 Fokker F 100 (11257, CS-TPA; 11287, CS-TPC), for storage.

June 2017: E190-200AR (0609, CS-TTY "LISBOA"), EX-(PR-AXQ), (AZL) leased.

September 2018: "(TAP) Express Adapts To Feeder Role For (TAP)"
by Lee Ann Shay, September 26, 2018.

Read Lee Ann's interview of Valter Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (TAP) Express (POR) below.


December 2018:

0 ATR42-600 (1002, CS-TRU; 1005, CS-TRV), (YES) WET-LEASED 2014-04, (POR) OPERATIONS. RETURNED.


8 ORDERS ATR72, 70Y:

6 F 100 (TAY 650-15) (11257, /89 CS-TPA "ALBATROZ;" 11262, /90 CS-TPB "PELICANO;" 11287, /90 CS-TPC "FLAMINGO;" 11317, /91 CS-TPD "CONDOR;" 11342, /92 CS-TPE "GAVIAO;" 11258, /89 CS-TPF "GRIFO"), 11257; TO STORAGE & POSSIBLE SALE TO AIR PANAMA. 11287 FOR STORAGE. (GEF) LEASED. TO BE RETURNED AS E190'S ARRIVE. 97Y.

1 F 100 (TAY 650-15) (YR-FKB), CARPATAIR (KRP) WET-LEASED 2006-10. 105Y.

8 EMBRAER ERJ-145EP (AE3007A) (014, /97 CS-TPG "MELRO;" 017, /97 CS-TPH "PARDAL;" 031, /97 CS-TPI "CUCO;" 036, /97 CS-TPJ "CHAPIM;" 041, /98 CS-TPK "GAIO;" 051, /98 CS-TPL "PISCO;" 095, /99 CS-TPM "ROLA;" 099, /99 CS-TPN "BRIGAO"), BEING REPLACED BY E190 AIRCRAFT. 49Y.

4 +5 ORDERS EMBRAER E190-100LR (0432, CS-TPO "ACORES" 2016-08; 0493, CS-TPS 2016-08; 0541, CS-TPV, 2017-01; 0609, CS-TTY "LISBOA" 2017-06), EX-(PP-PJQ) AZUL (AZL) LEASED. 110Y.




Click below for photos:
POR-1-Valter Fernandez 2018-01jpg


Valter Fernandes is the Managing Director at (TAP) Express (Portugália Airlines). He received his Mechanical Engineering degree from Instituto Superior Técnico and his Aeronautics Master of Science from Universidade Nova. Both located in Lisbon where he was born and raised.

In 2001 Valter moved to (TAP) Portugal as a Project Manager and was later promoted to aircraft Base Maintenance General Manager at (TAP) (M&E) Portugal (70 aircraft fleet plus customers). 5 years later, he moved to a different hemisphere to take the challenge of (TAP) (M&E) Brazil, initially as a Strategy Consultant for Brazil Operations and in 2010 Valter was promoted to Executive VP of Operations. During this period, (TAP) (M&E) Brazil doubled its revenue and created a good base load of new costumers.

After completing his legacy, he returned to (TAP) Portugal as Project Developer and Senior Advisor to the (CEO), holding this position for 2 years. In January of 2018, Valter was invited to embrace a new role in a (TAP) Group company as (CEO) of (TAP) Express operated by Portugália Airlines (POR).

In his interview with Lee Ann Shay (LS), Valter talked about aircraft changes, digital innovation and growth constraints at the airport in Lisbon.

LS: Portugalia Airlines (POR) renewed its fleet in 2016 by adding Embraer E190s, phasing out 2 fleets and starting to fly as (TAP) Express. How is the operation performing 1.5 years after these changes?
VF: It was a tough transition, but we are happy we did it. The E190s are a vastly superior aircraft compared to what we had, in terms of fuel consumption and comfort. But we are still learning the aircraft and are not there 100% operationally yet. For example, we still operate into some airports with extra fuel as a precaution, but as we learn the aircraft, we can drop buffers like that. Our customers really like the aircraft and appreciate not having a middle seat. Because we act as a feeder to (TAP)ís long-haul operation, the fact itís very reliable and has shorter turnaround times is good, too.

LS: Do you plan to add an additional aircraft type, or will you stick to the one fleet type?
VF: Iíd like to answer yes, but we do not have a firm date. We have a scope clause between the main airline and us, so our growth is limited by that. We still have margin to grow but the sky is not the limit. I hope to have a larger regional jet in the future (in the 110 to 140-seat bracket) to keep it below the Airbus A319. We will definitely keep 1 fleet type only because we are not big enough to justify >1 or multiple manufacturers, so we will try to maximize our capacity in the sub-140-seat range. I donít think weíll grow next year, but thereís a strong chance weíll grow in 2020.

LS: Youíve had a long and varied career at (TAP), since before joining Portugalia (POR). How different are the operations?
VF: They are different, of course, but not that different: Time is paramount in both operations. There are 2 main differences. I think maintenance is more restrictive in terms of regulations than operations, as far as rules go. You can still be creative in finding solutions for Flight Operations, much more than in Maintenance, which has a more restrictive environment, in my opinion. The 2nd issue is how to deal with staff. In Maintenance, youíre in hangars or in offices (you can reach out to people because you see them every day and can talk to them face to face). To broadcast a message or foster a cultural change is easier because itís a static environment. In an airline, to get the message across to pilots (FC) and flight attendants (CA) who are flying, is hard. You have to invest the time in a good communication system. Having said that, weíre improving, but weíre not there yet.

LS: What are the main changes youíre trying to implement?
VF: Portugalia was founded as an independent regional airline, and now itís more and more integrated with (TAP). Itís also really no longer a regional airline (increasingly, itís more of a feeder into (TAP)ís long-haul operation and operating in a hub environment, which brings cultural changes. We have to have a very punctual operation to serve the end of the line (the long-haul flights and (TAP) as a group. Before being acquired by (TAP), this company was thinking as a standalone entity) not one that impacts (TAP). Scope clauses are a new thing for us a well. Dealing with unions and scope clauses is a challenge. Youíre not entirely free to dictate your future. But Portugalia (POR) is very solid and has a can-do mentality: Itís flexible and adapts to new circumstances.

LS: What are Portugalia (POR)ís strengths and weaknesses?
VF: Our agility (we are a very nimble airline). Itís simple to open new routes and to fly to new airports. We are quick to adapt to new circumstances. One strength is our human resources (HR), who are very engaged and committed to the company. They are very loyal to this company and our turnover is low. Being part of the main airline is also a strength, because otherwise it would be hard to survive independently and as a low-cost carrier (LCC) here in Lisbon. For weaknesses, we have a small fleet (only 13 jets). With only 13 jets, itís hard to dilute fixed costs. Also, we have a pilot-union scope clause, which isnít a weakness but it influences our growth. One of the biggest challenges is our location: We are located in Lisbon, which is a very sought-after destination, and it is booming. The airport traffic is growing by double-digit figures, but there are lots of operational struggles: Air Traffic Control (ATC) limitations, slot limitations, and parking. Itís hard to have a strong on-time performance here, so we struggle a bit because of that. This airport is not coping, and itís overloaded.

LS: Are there plans to upgrade the airport?
VF: Yes, there is a plan to invest in this airport because itís old, and there are also plans to build a new airport in the next 4 years, probably. The government is working actively to solve this, but we still have to cope over the next 3 to 4 years. We have to minimize the struggles; for instance, we try to avoid rotations in peak times. For growth, if we canít have more slots, when we want, we have to upgrade the aircraft to offer more seats. Everything is on the table: no decisions yet.

LS: What synergies exist between Portugalia (POR) and (TAP)?
VF: For the existing ones, (POR) doesnít decide new routes or deal with sales or marketing. Also, our Information Technology (IT) department and medical services are shared, and ground handling and catering are defined as a single airline. As for new possible synergies, we are always considering them (such as the crew control center (CCC), maybe eventually even Maintenance (partially or totally). There is always a balance between group synergies and cost-cutting, which is good, and reducing the agility of the small company. When you depend on big group-wide solutions, sometimes you lose the speed and agility to adapt and create new solutions.

LS: What maintenance do you perform in-house and what do you outsource?
VF: In-house, we do everything airframe-related: Line Maintenance at our 2 main airports, light and heavy checks in our Lisbon hangar. For airframes, we cover everything from night stops to heavy "C" checks. We outsource components and engines. We have a contract with Embraer for Component Maintenance, and we have a power-by-the-hour agreement with (GE) for Engine Maintenance. When you go to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), you pay the price, but we chose that route. There is always room for improvement, and we talk with them to get better deals, but we are not unhappy to the point that weíre looking for other solutions.

LS: What digital functions (such as electronic signature, electronic logbook, remote inspections, predictive maintenance) is your airline using? Are you considering blockchain?
VF: We are currently performing predictive maintenance with tools provided by Embraer. We are trying internally to develop solutions through an agreement with a local engineering university to go deeper in predictive maintenance. Also, we are finalizing the certification of an electronic flight bag (EFB) that will be an enabler for the next step, which will be an electronic logbook. As for remote inspection, weíre not there yet, but itís part of our plan for 2019. Blockchain?: Itís a cross-industry technology that we think could add value to aviation, especially for maintenance data and the way it is shared, but we are still in the monitoring phase. We are also looking at customer-facing solutions, like Wi-Fi onboard, which is definitely something we will consider sooner rather than later. We are also improving our maintenance control center (MCC), especially the production control rooms. We are going much more into visual management (to know exactly if you are ahead or behind in maintenance activities).

LS: Does Portugalia (POR) provide maintenance services to any external customers?
VF: No, because 3rd-party maintenance is not our core business and we are limited by space. However, in our off-peak season for maintenance, which is the peak season for flight, we have agreements with local (MRO)s so we can outsource our manpower to work in their places. We started doing it this year. It works because we donít lay [workers] off, we donít fluctuate our staffing and they keep their jobs (and they get paid extra when they go to a different facility, per day). Because we donít have to adjust our manpower for peak and off-peak periods, we can offset our costs by doing this, and for local (MRO)s, itís good because of the personnel shortage.





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