Meet 3 Women Fulfilling TAP Air Portugal’s Mission of Customer Satisfaction

The airline has been providing safe and reliable transportation for nearly 80 years. 
Rita Tamagnini, Sofia Lufinha and Rita Lopes
Rita Tamagnini, Sofia Lufinha and Rita Lopes / Courtesy of TAP Air Portugal

As the country’s leading airline, TAP Air Portugal has been dedicated to offering safe, reliable transportation since its inception in 1945. Over the years, the carrier has pioneered commercial aviation with both customer service and sustainability at the forefront. And while the airline has been excelling in those areas for nearly 80 years, three women presently on staff are particularly integral in maintaining TAP’s status as a market leader.

Within two years of joining the organization, chief customer officer Sofia Lufinha has already developed instrumental measures within her area of client services. Her hands-on approach focuses primarily on gaining insights into customer pain points and actively creating solutions to address them.

Sofia Lufinha
Sofia Lufinha / Courtesy of TAP Air Portugal

“Working in civil aviation, especially in a renowned company like TAP, is truly remarkable,” Lufinha explains. “My role is deeply fulfilling as our customers are the driving force behind our daily operations, and their satisfaction is our highest priority. What drives me to wake up every day with motivation is the responsibility I hold for our customers. Therefore, the areas in which I operate share a common goal: fostering trust and confidence among our customers.”

Similarly, captain Rita Lopes is focused on customer satisfaction, but in a wholly different capacity. The Airbus 330neo pilot says that the trust passengers have in her to get them safely to and from their destinations is one of the most rewarding aspects of her work.

“What I love most about my job is every aspect about flying: the technical details, the teamwork, the leadership, the responsibility of the lives of all the passengers and crew,” Lopes states. “Even after all these years. I’m still amazed by the views and the sense of perspective when I’m flying.”

Rita Lopes
Rita Lopes / Courtesy of TAP Air Portugal

While the global percentage of female airline pilots falls between 4% and 6%, per the Centre for Aviation, Lopes is proud to work for a company that supports qualified candidates regardless of gender. 

“I think that anyone wanting and having the skills to qualify for a job should have that opportunity without barriers or prejudices,” she adds. “TAP Air Portugal has been ahead of [its] time in this matter: the first woman to join the airline was Teresa Carvalho in 1988 and I had the privilege of being her copilot in her first flight as a captain.”

For Rita Tamagnini, TAP’s corporate communications and public affairs director, her work “represents a different challenge” on a daily basis, as she is in charge of five different sectors: media relations; internal communications; institutional relations and industrial affairs; content production and management; and TAP’s Museum.

Rita Tamagnini
Rita Tamagnini / Courtesy of TAP Air Portugal

“The most rewarding [aspect of my work is] connecting people and providing the best flying experience possible while doing so,” she says of her duties. “ … I try to surpass myself each and every single day and always be worthy of this blessing, doing my best to contribute to the wellbeing of our passengers, of my colleagues and to honor all that has made TAP possible and what it is today over the past [almost] 80 years.”

Tamagnini, who previously worked as a journalist for more than a decade, is so passionate about her work in aviation that she refers to her job as “home,” which is just how TAP Air Portugal treats all of its passengers, like family. 

“What I would like to do is to invite everyone to fly with us and embrace Portugal,” she declares. “It’s really worth it and we await you the Portuguese way: with arms wide open!”

Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.