TAP Air Portugal Reveals Stunning A321neo Retro Livery

TAP Air Portugal is planning a retro livery for its forthcoming A321neo, and this week one of the airline’s executives shared how the aircraft will look. Taking inspiration from the TAP livery of yesteryear, it is certainly shaping up to be a very pretty plane.

First A321LR delivery to TAP Air Portugal
TAP was the launch customer for the A321LR, and is now planning a special paint job. Photo: Airbus

A new retrojet

Airlines with a long history love celebrating their past with retro liveries. From British Airways’ Boeing 747s celebrating the liveries of the past to Vistara’s salute to Tata on its A320neo, the retrojet is a fun way to commemorate the past and bring something different to the world’s airports.

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With a 75 year history, TAP Air Portugal is one of the world’s oldest airlines and is preparing to launch a retrojet of its own. To celebrate its quarter-century, the airline is painting a brand new A321neo in a beautiful retro livery.

The mock-up of the neo was shared on LinkedIn by Chief Revenue and Network Officer at TAP, Arik De. We have to say, it looks stunning.

The Airbus will take on the old name of TAP – Transportes Aéreos Portugueses (Portuguese Air Transportations) in red alongside the Portuguese flag next to the forward doors. The upper half of the aircraft is white, while the belly and engines are a gleaming silver.

For the modern TAP, green is a big part of the brand image. However, on the retrojet, the green is more on the blue side, and is only applied in a small way on the tail and also at the tip of the wings.

The aircraft is currently on the final assembly line in Hamburg and has been spotted with the vertical stabilizer already painted in the retro livery. If all goes to plan, the A321neo should arrive with TAP in October, complete with its historical coat of paint.

Seen it before?

For fans of retro liveries, this one may look a bit familiar. And so it should, because TAP applied the very same livery to an A330 widebody in 2017.

TAP A330 retrojet
TAP previously applied the retro livery to an A330. Photo: TAP Air Portugal

That retrojet took the whole looking back thing a leap further, with a full-on retro experience for passengers on the flight. The headrest covers featured the old logo, taking the retro theme inside the cabin as well as outside, and the crew dressed up in uniforms from days gone by.

TAP A330 retrojet
The retro theme went all the way from uniforms to food. Photo: TAP Air Portugal

As well as the cabin, exterior and crew, TAP went all out with the soft product for the widebody retrojet. Each passenger received a retro TAP flight bag, based on the design from decades ago, while the amenity kit brought the usual touches like pajamas and cosmetics but wrapped in a case that was so very 1970s.

The airline even served up a retro menu, featuring things like prawn cocktail and banana split. All the snacks and drinks were sourced in their original retro packaging too. It was an entirely historical experience that passengers loved.

It’s quite possible that the entry into service of the A321neo will be marked with a special flight in a similar vein to celebrate. However, once the excitement dies down, the little Airbus will be working regular routes around Europe and further afield and will be a treat for avgeeks to spot at the airports.