ANGOLA - Transport
General Manager Angola, TAP Air Portugal
João Candeias holds a degree in marketing management from the Portuguese Institute of Marketing Management (IPAM). He has worked in TAP since 1990 and has been based in different countries since 1996, beginning in Rome as marketing manager for southern European countries (Spain, Italy, and Greece). In 2003, he was appointed general manager for Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, and in 2006 he moved to Brazil as sales manager for north and northeast Brazil. In 2009, Candeias moved to Venezuela as general manager for Venezuela and the Caribbean, later relocating to Russia in 2012 as general manager for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria. In 2021, he assumed the role of General Director for Africa, based in Angola.
TAP places great importance on social responsibility, in particular since the beginning of the pandemic.
What have been the main milestones of TAP Portugal since it arrived in Angola in 1946?
TAP Air Portugal was founded in 1945, and it began flying to Angola on December 31, 1946. Because of this, Angola was born with the company, and it also helped the company grow. Since that time, TAP has been flying to Angola uninterruptedly. Even during the independence of Angola in 1975, we continued flying to repatriate Portuguese people. This commitment shows the importance of Luanda as a destination for TAP. Since then, many things have changed; we have evolved with new planes, new crews, and a new strategy. Angola is crucial for TAP, and TAP is important for Angola as well. There are excellent relations between Angola and Portugal, which is a key factor for TAP to continue flying to the country and for Angolans to continue flying to Portugal.
What is the importance of the African market for TAP?
Africa is extremely important for TAP. In fact, TAP is the largest European airline flying to Africa and Brazil. No other European airline flies as much as TAP. We have won several prizes in recent years for being the biggest airline flying to Africa. It is important and relevant for TAP, despite the fact that our operations have been reduced significantly. Even with such flight reductions, however, we are flying 84 flights per week across Africa. We fly to 11 countries and 18 cities in Africa. In some countries, we fly to more than one city. Even though traffic is reduced, that clearly demonstrates how important the traffic to Africa is for us.
How has TAP dealt with the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic?
We were able to adapt quickly, leading quick changes for the industry and company. We started working with people remotely and developed new health techniques with the support of TAP medical center called UCS. We have extremely experienced medical staff in TAP. The same goes for our in-flight crews and ground staff. We made rapid adaptations to set protective measures in place not only for our staff, but for all our passengers. Before the pandemic, we also made a large investment in new planes. On newer planes, all the air can be renewed within two or three minutes, allowing 100% of the cabin air to be fully recycled through HEPA filters. These systems can filter 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. These HEPA filters are a huge competitive advantage on our planes. Furthermore, we have invested in the new Airbus Neo family of aircraft including the long-range version. We can fly with these planes from Lisbon to New York or the north of Brazil.
What proposals have you developed for social and environmental responsibility?
During the pandemic, we transformed two passenger planes into cargo planes. We have a well-trained maintenance team in Portugal that was able to adapt the planes quickly in the way we needed to collaborate with medical efforts. In total, we operated 24 humanitarian flights to China, mostly with medical cargo. We brought cargo from China to Portugal and distributed it to other countries from Portugal, as well. We repatriated over 12,000 passengers during the same period, with more than 60 repatriation flights from Europe, Africa, and South America. During this period, we also offered supplies to some countries, with more than 450,000 food items and catered food. Regarding carbon emissions, we bought new planes from the Airbus Neo family, which have reduced carbon emissions by 17.5% per passenger transported. In addition, we installed sharklets on all our planes to reduce friction in the air, allowing for less fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions. In addition, we changed all the business class dishes to become 15% lighter, which allows for a large reduction in weight. These are just some of the changes and compromises we have made that demonstrate our commitment to social responsibility.
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