Pêro da Covilhã, the Portuguese explorer who played an important part in paving the way for Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India, is now giving his name to one of TAP’s new aircraft.
The Airline thus exalts the Portuguese role as conquerors of the Discoveries age, baptising the Airbus A321LR, registration CS-TXC, with the name of the adventurer who is an icon of sixteenth-century expansion.
Pêro da Covilhã is one of the most important Portuguese figures from the Discoveries. Born in Covilhã – the city that became associated with his name – he was the first Portuguese to set foot on the soil of India, more than 500 years ago. At the request of King João II, he was commissioned to explore the shores of the Indian Ocean by land and sea, contributing to the success of Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India in 1498. He thus became the first European to explore the coasts of India and East Africa, facilitating trade between Europe and the Orient.
Now Pêro da Covilhã will continue to explore the world and cross oceans, this time with TAP. His name is now inscribed on one of the new Airbus A321 Long Range, which combines the comfort and self-sufficiency of a Long Haul aircraft with a narrow body aeroplane capable of flying transatlantic routes. Consequently, it will enable the Airline to increase its service to several cities in Northeast Brazil and North America.
The name of Pêro da Covilhã will now join other great Portuguese explorers from the Discoveries, such as Vasco da Gama, Pedro Álvares Cabral, Fernão de Magalhães, João Gonçalves Zarco, Bartolomeu Dias and Gonçalo Velho Cabral, among others.