TAP Air Portugal Takes Delivery Of Its Retrojet A321neo

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TAP Air Portugal has welcomed its latest addition to the fleet. An Airbus A321neo arrived in Lisbon yesterday, adorned with a special retro livery. With a nod to the airline’s long history, the beautiful coat of paint draws inspiration from as far back as the 1950s.

Tap Portugal express
TAP’s special celebratory retrojet (not pictured) arrived in Lisbon yesterday.  Photo: Getty Images

From 1955 to 2020

On Tuesday, TAP Air Portugal took delivery of its A321neo retrojet. Operating as flight TP9746, it left Airbus’ Hamburg Finkenwerder plant at 18:30. It arrived in Lisbon 3 hours and 12 minutes later, at 20:42 local time.

While there are no images of the plane, registered as CS-TJR, arriving at its new home yesterday, we managed to find some photos from when it rolled out of the paintshop back in August. The livery draws inspiration all the way back from the 1950s. Despite the grey northern European skies, it looks beautiful.

The colors and the typography of TAP’s chosen retro livery were first displayed on a Lockheed Super Constellation aircraft, which the carrier received in 1955. The last aircraft to be painted in the livery before TAP transitioned to the next one was a Boeing 727-200.

The aircraft is TAP’s 16th A321neo. While half of the jets, between two years old and fresh out from the factory floor, are currently listed as parked, we hope to see the retrojet take to the skies on regular service shortly.

Simple Flying has reached out to TAP Air Portugal for more details on when and where the retrojet will fly but was yet to receive a reply at the time of publication.

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

In good company

This is not the first retrojet in the TAP fleet. In 2017, the Portuguese flag-carrier painted one of its Airbus A330 widebodies in the same retro-livery. To mark the occasion, TAP created an entire retro experience, complete with prawn cocktails, old logo headrest covers, and vintage uniforms.

While these times may certainly have many longing for days gone by, with flight cancellations and subsequent refunds waiting to be paid, this may not be the best time for publicity events. Hopefully, though, the arrival of TAP’s beautiful new narrowbody won’t pass by entirely under the radar.

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BA retrojets
In 2019, British Airways brought all of its retro liveried jets together. Photo: British Airways

Other trips down memory runways

TAP Air Portugal, which commenced operations 75 years ago, is not the only airline to celebrate its long existence with retro-liveried special colors. Aerolineas Argentinas is turning 70 this year and has chosen to retrofit a Boeing 737-700 to mark the occasion. The Latin American airline is bringing back a livery from the 1980s.

In 2019, to celebrate the 50,000th passenger on one of its four retrojets, British Airways brought all of the planes together for a photo-op. Unfortunately, three of BA’s heritage jets were Boeing 747s, and thus we have seen the last of them in the sky. However, the one with the Negus livery, which was featured on BA planes in the 1970s and 80s, will live on as a museum, educational facility, and cinema.

What do you think of TAP’s retro livery? Let us know in the comments. 

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