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Seven decades of history on a single plane

TAP celebrated its 76th anniversary with its customers, on two very special flights, aboard the Retro jet A321neo.

On March 14th 2021, TAP celebrated its 76th anniversary. Several initiatives marked the date, but the celebration with our customers, unavoidable and mandatory, took place on board our Retro jet, the Airbus A321neo CS-TJR. On a return flight between Lisbon and Paris, the Company invited passengers to travel back in time and revisit six of TAP's most iconic uniforms, from 1946 to the present date, worn by each of the Cabin Crew.

This unprecedented action was a joint project from the Marketing, Corporate Communication and Cabin Crew Management areas, to mark another year of our Company's life. According to Alexandra Martins, from the Corporate Communication area and responsible for the TAP Museum, the selection of models was time-consuming and judicious, either because we were dealing with very old uniforms or because of their size. “Women, in the past, were smaller and less curvy. We are having difficulties with the sizes, but, in the end, everything will fit well”, assured Alexandra Martins, during the uniforms fitting session. A job that Alexandra guarantees to be very rewarding: “this is the gratifying job of the Museum, which is to show knowledge and a little bit of TAP's History, which is very rich and diversified”.

Maria Torres, from the Cabin Crew Direction, also present at the session, considered this challenge “a great responsibility, but also an enormous privilege. Many of the Flight Attendants do not know these uniforms, nor did they have the opportunity to touch them”. Adélia Lopes, who last Sunday gave life to the famous uniform created for TAP by Louis Féraud in 1970, thus spoke of “great pride” in being able to participate in the initiative, which she considers, in addition to being educational, to be an act of sharing and caring for our passengers.

TP436 Crew, Lisbon-Paris: João Antunes (First Officer), Ricardo Madail (Captain), Jorge Físico, Mariana Reis, Tatiana Santos, Adélia Lopes and Débora Oliveira (Flight Attendants), Sandra Silva, (Purser) and Miguel Estevez (Captain).

Indeed, this group turned many heads yesterday, arousing the curiosity of passengers on both flights. Jorge Físico, Flight Attendant and, in this initiative, the representative of the current TAP uniform, says that “there were many interested passengers, with questions about the uniforms, and what time they corresponded to”. For this reason, the TAP Museum had also made available a brief description of the uniforms to the Crew, so that they could elucidate the most curious.

Taking that special flight “was a wonderful feeling”, in the words of Captain Ricardo Madail, “because it is part of the Company's history, not only because of the plane, our Retro jet, but also because of the uniforms of our colleagues”. Seven decades revisited inside an aircraft, on a journey that Tatiana Santos, Flight Attendant, says intersects with the country's history. “It is very important to mark these 76 years, because we are going through a difficult period, but also because TAP is part of Portugal, and its development is inseparable from the country's evolution. Portugal is also TAP”.

The stars of the day

The Tropical uniform, used between 1946 and 1956, only on the Africa Line, was eventually developed by TAP Crew members. The female version consisted of a short-sleeved blouse, serrated skirt and a khaki Panama hat, finished with thick high-heeled shoes and a honey-coloured leather suitcase. On the 14th, it was Débora Oliveira, who gave it life.

Sandra Silva, Purser, yesterday wore a creation dating back to 1964, by Portuguese stylist Sérgio Sampaio. It consisted of a blazer and a medium blue skirt, a yellow collar blouse, a medium blue felt hat, with two dark blue pompoms, inspired by the typical hat from Nazaré (Portuguese village). White mousse gloves completed the set.

Adélia Lopes wore the iconic uniform of the 70s, signed by Louis Féraud. The dress and short blazer, blue and red, were combined with a red felt hat, with dark blue pompom, medium and heavy heel shoes, and a dark blue calf suitcase with a metal plate (screw head).

TAP's women's uniform between 1980 and 1987 was also designed by Louis Féraud, who, in this decade, returned to the conventional colour of uniforms – navy blue. The feminine cut was maintained, in a short blazer and dark blue pleated skirt, white blouses with coloured piping, short and long sleeves, dark blue wide-brimmed felt hat, shoes and dark blue calf suitcase with bright red. Yesterday, this uniform was revisited by Tatiana Santos.

Mariana Reis wore the second last Company’s uniform, also by Louis Féraud, still very present in our memories. Compared to the previous one, this uniform, used from 1988 to 2007, brought a profusion of accessories in various colours and golden buttons. The coat was a dark blue fabric with detachable collars. Note the introduction of yellow, green and red in the hat.

Jorge Físico represented all of TAP's male Flight Attendants in this action, as well as the current uniform. Designed by Manuel Alves and José Gonçalves, it was introduced in 2008 and brought more vivid colours to the uniforms, here visible on the tie. This pair of Portuguese designers reintroduced dresses in women's uniforms and created their own pieces for the Cabin Crew.

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