Star Alliance carrier TAP Portugal has firmed up its previous commitment to the Airbus A350 programme by signing a firm order for a dozen A350 XWB aircraft, as well as a letter of intent for eight more A320 family aircraft.

The Portuguese carrier initially signed for ten A350 aircraft in late 2005 and also later converted two of its five options on the type.

Airbus subsequently redesigned the aircraft as the A350 XWB programme and TAP has now signed a firm contract converting its initial commitment into orders for a dozen A350 XWBs. It has also taken options on three more of the type.

 © Airbus SAS
TAP Portugal has signed a firm order for 12 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft 

TAP chief executive Fernando Pinto says: “We have thoroughly re-evaluated our initial A350 order and the result clearly demonstrated that the XWB is the winner in all areas. This aircraft will meet TAP’s requirements to cater for passenger traffic growth across the Atlantic and our plans to serve further destinations.”

The A350s - for which the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine is currently the only powerplant available – will in time replace the carrier’s A340-300 and A330-200 fleet.

TAP has also signed a letter of intent for eight additional A320 family aircraft. TAP already operates 35 A319/A320/A321 aircraft.

Pinto says: “The further additional A320s is a natural choice for our expansion plans, as the A320s perfectly fit our need for efficient single aisle aircraft offering the best possible comfort for our passengers.”