TAP sales take off in new international markets with Google Ads

Learn how the Portuguese airline expanded globally with help from Google


  • Increase brand awareness and reposition TAP as an international airline
  • Expand its network and carry passengers from key markets in the EU to new markets in the US
  • Adopt a more cost-effective acquisition model


  • Worked with Google to create a new marketing strategy promoting new routes, develop key performance indicators (KPIs), move to a Cost of Sale (CoS) model, and develop core markets
  • Used Google Ads to target advertising globally to English speakers
  • Improved ad targeting with frequent testing and measurement


  • 350% increase in North American sales year on year
  • 540% increase in website visits by North American visitors
  • Increased online global market share and boosted direct website bookings
  • Extended reach to 78 destinations in 30 countries

Launched in 1945, Lisbon-based Portuguese airline TAP largely offered Portugal-based service in the initial years. After the airline decided to expand its global market-share and position itself as a truly international airline, it approached Google to help develop a strategy for growing core markets and reach new customers. As a result, TAP saw significant increase in the customer-base and expanded its operations internationally including two new key routes at Boston and JFK airports.

TAP airlines first asked Google to review the airline’s operational and financial efficiencies as well as create a global marketing programme. Google helped TAP airlines move its business from a Cost per Acquisition (CPA) model to a Cost of Sale (CoS) model. This made it more efficient and cost-effective to increase the airline’s online global market share and boost direct booking on TAP’s website flytap.com.

Carlos Paneiro, VP Sales for TAP (North America and Central America), explains that “a Cost of Sale model is the only way to take the full potential return of market, accurately track sales and absorption costs along with improved operational as well as financial efficiency.”

TAP used Google Ads to increase the visibility of the airline in its 30 international markets. This meant TAP could see which markets brought in the most revenue, and could adjust its online campaigns accordingly.

The optimised Google Ads strategy has seen sales increase 340% year on year since the campaign’s launch, with Google Ads campaigns representing 35% of TAP’s digital sales. The airline has also seen a 540% increase in site visits by North American visitors.

Justyna Valente, TAP’s Digital Marketing Manager, states that “Google Ads is essential to make sure people will find our offers and book with us, and therefore increase direct sales.”

TAP’s new partnership with Boston and JFK airports was an opportunity for the airline to expand its operations and carry passengers from key markets in the EU to new markets in the US. The Google team advised on the marketing strategy to launch these new routes, and helped define the right key performance indicators. This meant that when the new US flight routes launched, TAP was able to launch and optimise new campaigns based on insights from the data.

Carlos explains that “Google’s mass reach has enabled us to fully analyse our results and there’s a diversity of choices when it comes to platforms and targeting. Google has the perfect technical solutions for our business.”

Carlos is keen to continue the relationship with Google saying “Google has helped us to set up the right strategy to succeed in a very competitive market with digitally savvy customers. TAP will continue to improve its digital positioning and we look forward to furthering our partnership with Google, utilising the latest tools to optimise our marketing campaigns and sell more TAP seats!”

“Google has the perfect technical solutions for our business.” Carlos Paneiro, VP Sales for North and Central America, TAP