TAP Air Portugal will offer two new nonstop routes from North America to include Boston/Ponta Delgada and Montreal/Lisbon. The new service will be launched in the summer of 2020.
The company will also increase the number of connections between Lisbon and Ponta Delgada, from four to five daily.
TAP did not offer a specific start date for either of the routes, but plans to operate five weekly flights between Boston and Ponta Delgada (São Miguel) and six flights between Montreal and Lisbon.
With the new route to the Azores, TAP would go head-to-head with Azores Airlines on the route to Ponta Delgada as a destination from Boston. Currently, Azores Airlines also flies from Boston to Terceira island in the Azores.
TAP will also compete with Canadian low-cost carrier Air Transat, which flies the route nonstop five times a week during the summer season.
TAP has been carrying almost one million passengers annually on the North American routes, up 250% since 2015, expecting to carry an additional 390,000 travelers between Portugal and North America next year, almost four times more than in 2015.
“We’re excited to keep adding new cities from the USA to Portugal,” said David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways and a major shareholder in TAP.
Currently, TAP flies from seven US airports: to Lisbon from Boston, Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO) and Washington Dulles (IAD). In Canada, Montreal will become TAP’s second gateway to Lisbon in addition to Toronto Pearson.
Accordingly, TAP will serve the New York market with four daily roundtrips to Portugal and will add a second daily flight between New York’s John F Kennedy International.
An extra weekly flight will be aded to its Newark-Porto service making that a daily operation, along with the daily Newark-Lisbon service.
TAP will also add two weekly Miami-Lisbon flights this winter and a third next summer for a weekly total of 10 roundtrips.
Two weekly flights will be added to the Chicago-Lisbon and Washington, DC-Lisbon routes. TAP also serves both Boston-Lisbon and Toronto-Lisbon daily, and San Francisco-Lisbon with five flights weekly.
Lisbon bound travelers will be able to connect to Porto or Faro (mainland Portugal); Ponta Delgada or Terceira (the Azores); and Funchal or Porto Santo (Madeira).
North America is already one of the company’s three main international markets. By the summer of 2020, in total, TAP will operate 82 weekly roundtrips from nine gateways in North America to Portugal.
“This is a historic moment in TAP’s journey,” said Antonoaldo Neves, TAP Air Portugal’s CEO. “With the inauguration of these new routes, TAP goes from just three routes in 2015 to 11 North American routes, the same number is has to Brazil. It’s another important step in the airline’s expansion and diversification,” he said.
The new routes will be operated by fuel efficient brand new A321LR aircraft, which have a total of 171 seats, including 16 business class seats and 155 economy seats. The airline has a total of 14 of these planes on order.
Currently, TAP Air Portugal operates from 8 airports in North America, 10 in Brazil, one in Venezuela, 16 in Africa and approximately 70 in Europe. In January 2020, TAP will also launch its seventh flight per week to the island of Sal, in Cape Verde.
In 2015, JetBlue founder David Neeleman led a consortium of investors called Atlantic Gateway to buy up 45% shares of State run TAP Air Portugal. Neeleman is also the founder of Brazilian Azul airline. Taking effect December 2, TAP will operate codeshares with Azul and Alitalia airlines. The opening of the Boston-Ponta Delgada route will join Boston-Lisbon destination, providing direct connections with JetBlue (TAP’s partner) serving passengers coming from various points in the US.