TAP Air Portugal's retrojet

Image via TAP Air Portugal

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of APEX EXPO this year, APEX Media is looking back at its members’ most significant achievements. Today, we recall how TAP Air Portugal brought passengers joy with its nostalgic retrojet campaign.

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In 2017, 72 years after the airline was founded in 1945, TAP Air Portugal (TAP) unveiled its “retrojet,” an Airbus A330 known as Portugal that underwent a serious makeover to offer a truly vintage passenger experience. The A330 retrojet, which was repainted with TAP’s 1970s branding, flew throughout 2017 on routes to Miami, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Recife, among others.

During check-in for each flight, passengers were greeted by crew wearing the brightly colored uniforms by French fashion designer Louis Féraud, which were introduced by the airline in 1970. They were also offered retro bag tags, boarding pass wallets and a time-traveler’s diploma.

Inside the cabin, the passengers were greeted by retro-branded headrests and a vintage-inspired safety video, which has since garnered almost 24,000 views on YouTube. The crew served in-flight meals inspired by the 1970s, including shrimp salad and pheasant terrine for starters, and a banana parfait for dessert. Even the drinks selection, which included Coca-Cola and Portuguese Sagres beer, was served in glass bottles featuring the company’s 1970s labels.

The in-flight entertainment featured 1970s movies and music – think Rocky and Janis Joplin – and Portuguese games company Majora created a special TAP-focused version of its famous game, O Sabichão, to entertain passengers traveling in business class.

Passengers at the front of the plane also received the iconic 1970s TAP gift bag, filled with comfortable pajamas, Ach Brito lavender cologne, Benamôr hand cream and Couto toothpaste.

See more posts from the 40 Success Stories campaign.