For the first time, TAP achieved an annual total of more than one million passengers on the African route, showing a growth of about 29 per cent.
A release issued by the company said on the global front, the airline carried more people in 2017 than in the previous year, reaching an aggregate of 14.274 million passengers by the end of December. This is about 21.7 per cent higher and 2.55 million more than the previous year’s figure.
The growth in load factor regarding the seats offered in 2017 also increased significantly by 4.3 percentage points, to 82.9 per cent.
The Lisbon-Porto Ponte Aérea shuttle was TAP’s most popular route in 2017, with a total of 726,000 passengers, eight per cent more than that of 2016.
TAP's new investment in the North American market in 2017 involved opening a new route to Toronto and consolidating the Boston and New York JFK routes which were initiated in June and July the previous year. This has translated into a 54.5 per cent increase in the number of passengers to a total of 729,000, which is 257,000 more passengers than in 2016.
Connections to Brazil underwent strong recovery in the course of the year, growing by 14 per cent as TAP carried 1.6 million passengers.
Connections between mainland Portugal and Madeira and the Azores exceeded the one million passenger mark for the first time, with passenger numbers rising by 18.9 per cent, or 183,000 passengers, reaching an annual aggregate total of 1.15 million.
The release said it was on the European routes that TAP grew most in terms of absolute number of passengers, with an increase of 1.6 million compared to the previous year.
TAP carried an aggregate total of 8.7 million passengers in the 12-month period of 2017, a 22 per cent increase from 2016.
2017 was the first time TAP carried more than 500,000 passengers on its Lisbon-London Heathrow, Lisbon-Barcelona and Lisbon-Madrid routes in one year.
This passenger numbers milestone was also registered on the Lisbon-Porto, Lisbon-Funchal and Lisbon-Paris routes, which had also achieved that mark in previous years.
The strong growth of TAP throughout the year was consolidated in December. In that month, the airline reached 1.169 million passengers, an increase of 18.4 per cent compared to the same month of 2016.
The airline also recorded growth on its freights route. TAP Cargo ended 2017 having carried a total of 78,500 tons of freight and mail, which is ????? per cent higher than the figure carried in 2016.
Again, 80 per cent of the total volume transported originated in markets outside Portugal.