TAP Air Portugal’s second naming ceremony of the year pays homage to the Portuguese seafarer who led Portuguese exploration on the African continent in the 19th century. Roberto Ivens is the name of the new Airbus A321LR CS-TXD the Airline baptized on Tuesday last week.
Roberto Ivens was born on 12 June 1850 in Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel in the Azores. Aged 11, he was accepted to the Navy School in Lisbon, and at 20 he completed the course with the highest distinction, consequently beginning his career as a serviceman in the Portuguese Navy. Then, at the age of 22, Ivens embarked for the first time for the continent that became his great passion: Africa.
In 1877, after travelling to several continents, he was appointed to lead the first scientific expedition to the interior of Africa, along with Hermenegildo Capelo and Serpa Pinto, to gather geographical information that might facilitate trade and communications.
The success of the first expedition led the Portuguese parliament to approve a second journey, this time led only by Ivens and Hermenegildo Capelo, starting in 1884. The mission was simple: to link Angola to the Other Coast, since in the first expedition they had only crossed half the continent horizontally.
It was Roberto Ivens who, thanks to his bravery and artistic talent, raised awareness in Portugal through his writing and drawing of a hitherto mysterious continent, and he was even awarded the Military Order of St. James for his scientific, military and artistic merit.
The journeys Roberto Ivens took made him a national hero and opened the gates of Portuguese history, contributing to the consolidation of the Portuguese Empire. Now, Roberto Ivens will continue to explore the world along with TAP.
His name is now on one of the new Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft, which brings together the comfort and autonomy of a long-haul aeroplane with a narrow body aircraft capable of flying transatlantic routes. Consequently, it will enable TAP to boost its offer to and from various cities in Northeast Brazil and North America.