The Riga-based Latvian low-cost carrier airBaltic and the Lisbon-based Portuguese full service carrier TAP Air Portugal (TAP) have concluded a codeshare agreement, as announced on June 11, 2018. This partnership will enable airBaltic passengers more and diversified options to travel within the vast network of TAP, including Brazil, Portugal and Africa. In turn, TAP passengers will be offered better connectivity to the Baltics, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

“We are delighted to start codeshare flights with TAP Air Portugal, which is among the largest airlines in Europe. TAP Air Portugal is already our 21st codeshare partner, thus we are further extending impressive portfolio of partner airlines,” said Martin Gauss, CEO of the Latvian carrier.

According to Gauss, airBaltic will sell flights between the capitals of the three Baltic states: Riga (Latvia), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Tallinn (Estonia) and TAP’s domestic network via the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, as well to Lisbon via common gateways, thus “better connecting Baltics to the world.”

Here is what Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of TAP, had to say about the partnership: “Our newest partnership with airBaltic will allow TAP Air Portugal customers to take advantage of new direct flights to Latvia and connecting services to the Baltic countries, thereby adding convenience and travel options to Northern Europe, in complementarity with TAP direct services to Scandinavia and Finland.”

TAP will place its flight code TP on direct flights between Riga and Lisbon operated by airBaltic as well as via common gateways between TAP network and Riga.

The flag carrier of Portugal and the country’s leading airline, TAP, currently serves 83 destinations in 35 countries worldwide. TAP Lisbon Airport (LIS) hub is a key European gateway at the crossroads of Africa, North, Central and South America, where the airline is the international leading carrier in operation to Brazil.

The Latvian national carrier, airBaltic, serves over 70 destinations from its home base at Riga International Airport (RIX). From every one of these locations, airBaltic offers convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, the CIS and the Middle East.

airBaltic is a joint stock company established in 1995. Its primary shareholder is the Latvian state, which holds 80.05% of the stock, while Lars Thuesen holds around 20% through his fully-owned Aircraft Leasing 1 SIA.

The airline’s fleet consists of 31 aircraft – 8 Bombardier CS300s, 11 Boeing 737s and 12 Bombardier Q400 Next Gen aircraft.

The Latvian national carrier airBaltic placed a firm order on 30 Bombardier CS300 with a pending option for 30 more. Based on current list prices, value of the contract could be around $2.9 billion, and up to $5.9 billion if the option was to be exercised. The first delivery is expected by the fourth quarter of 2019.

In operation since 1945, TAP celebrated 70 years on March 14, 2015, and has completed its privatization process in 2015, with the Atlantic Gateway Group now as new private shareholders of its share capital. It is a member of Star Alliance since 2005.

TAP currently operates about 2,500 weekly flights in average on a modern fleet of 66 Airbus aircraft and 21 aircraft in TAP Express livery, operating in the company’s regional network, adding up to a 87 aircraft fleet in total.

The first A330-900neo which should be delivered to the launch company of the model, TAP Air Portugal, completed its maiden flight on May 15, 2018. The aircraft will now join the two other A330-900neos already being flight tested since October 19, 2017.