NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TAP Air Portugal is expanding again with two new routes from the United States in 2019, adding nonstop service to Lisbon, from Washington, DC and Chicago. The 73-year-old national carrier has been breaking records in the last few years, boarding more than 14 million customers in 2017 and being named one of 2018’s 10 fastest growing carriers.
TAP will commence five round-trip flights per week between Chicago O’Hare and Lisbon on June 1, 2019, and then add five weekly round-trips between Washington-Dulles and Lisbon on June 16.
Chicago flights will operate Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, departing Chicago-O’Hare at 6:05 p.m., and arriving in Lisbon at 7:50am the following morning. Returning flights leave Lisbon at 1:05pm, arriving into O’Hare at 4:05pm.
Washington flights will operate Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing at 10:40pm, arriving in Lisbon at 10:50am the next day. Returning flights leave Lisbon at 4:30pm, arriving at Dulles at 7:40pm.
TAP is the launch carrier for the new aircraft with 21 planned for delivery in the next two years. In all, TAP has a new fleet of 71 aircraft being delivered, also including 19 A320neos, 17 A321neos, and 14 A321 Long Range jets.
“With more than 70 new planes on the way, this is only just the beginning,” said David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways and a major shareholder in TAP. “We have 10 gateways from Brazil to Portugal and believe we can support the same number from the US. Today’s expansion to Chicago and Washington, DC reflects what an increasingly popular destination Portugal has become, especially with visitors from the U.S. Our network beyond Lisbon is also growing. We now serve 55 destinations in Europe and 17 in Africa and fully 50 percent of our American passengers are flying us to places beyond Portugal, many making use of our popular Portugal Stopover program.”
The A330neo will feature the new Airspace by Airbus cabin. The economy cabin now comprises two categories: Economy and EconomyXtra. The configuration and design provide a fresh atmosphere, with more legroom, deeper seat recline, and new seat covers in shades of green and gray, and green and red in EconomyXtra. The seat pitch in regular economy is 31 inches, while Xtra offers an additional three inches’ legroom with a pitch of 34 inches.
“These two new connections will enable an even greater number of Americans to discover what Portugal has to offer as a privileged destination to visit, to live in, to invest and to study,” said His Excellency Domingos Fezas Vital, the Ambassador of Portugal to the United States of America. “In that sense, they are a major contribution to the further strengthening of the already close links between two peoples and two countries, that are neighbors across the ocean.”
“Washington Dulles International Airport welcomes TAP Air Portugal’s new year-round service to Lisbon, which offers passengers visiting or living in the U.S. Capital region more choice and flexibility in their travels,” said Jerome L. Davis, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “We look forward to supporting TAP Air Portugal’s market entrance and growth as we continue to strengthen Dulles International Airport’s strong position as the Washington region’s premier gateway to the world.”
“New direct services to Lisbon and other key international destinations at O’Hare are fueling Chicago’s leading connectivity to the world," said Jamie L. Rhee, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation. "The City of Chicago welcomes our newest airline partner, TAP, and thanks them for choosing the Chicago O’Hare market to expand their business. With TAP’s commitment at O’Hare, we are delivering new travel choices and economic opportunity for the City of Chicago, and expanding our world class service for travelers around the globe.”
Fares on the new routes in the Economy cabin start at just $265 one way from Washington-Dulles, all inclusive of taxes, and from $278 one way from Chicago O’Hare. Round-trip fares are $569 and $595, respectively.
In TAP’s Executive business class, TAP offers 34 new fully-flat reclining chairs that are more than six feet long when fully reclined.
Also, TAP has powered up its new business class chairs to include USB slots and individual electrical sockets, connections for headphones, individual reading lights, and more space, including more storage room.
TAP’s Executive business class fares on both routes start at $1,456 one way, or $2,951 round-trip, for travel to Lisbon. Business class one-way fares to TAP’s popular European destinations, such as Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Rome, start from just $1,396 to Paris.
TAP introduced the Portugal Stopover program in 2016 to further attract the ‘beyond Lisbon’ guest. Travelers to all of TAP’s European and African destinations can enjoy up to five nights in Lisbon or Porto along the way, for no extra airfare. So, from Washington and Chicago, travelers will be able to see Lisbon or Porto and their pick of 70 destinations throughout Europe and Africa with fares starting as low as $183 each way, from either Washington or Chicago to Madrid or Barcelona.
The Portugal Stopover comprises a network of more than 150 partners who provide exclusive offers for Stopover customers for hotels discounts and complimentary experiences such as free entry to museums, dolphin watching in the River Sado and food tastings – even a free bottle of Portuguese wine in participating restaurants.
Travelers can also enjoy a stopover in Lisbon or Porto even if their final destination is in Portugal, such as: Faro (Algarve); Ponta Delgada or Terceira (the Azores); and Funchal or Porto Santo (Madeira).
About TAP Air Portugal
TAP is Portugal’s leading airline and a member of the global airline Star Alliance since 2005. Flying since 1945, TAP celebrated its 70th anniversary on March 14, 2015, before completing its privatization process later that year, now with the Atlantic Gateway Group as private shareholders.
TAP’s network comprises 84 destinations in 34 countries worldwide. The airline currently operates around 2,500 weekly flights, with a modern fleet of 63 Airbus aircraft. TAP Express, the airline’s regional arm, operates an additional 17 aircraft.
With TAP’s privatization process, it has restructured its network, launched new fare products and is renewing its medium and long-haul fleet. TAP has 53 Airbus neo aircraft on order and, by 2020, it’s long-haul fleet will either have been replaced with new aircraft or newly reconfigured aircraft. TAP Express now operates a new fleet of 8 ATR 72 and 9 Embraer 190.
TAP is one of Europe’s most awarded airlines. Global Traveler (USA) named TAP as Best Airline in Europe from 2011 to 2016, and the World Travel Awards named TAP as both Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa and Europe’s Leading Airline to South America from 2014 – 2017. Previously TAP was awarded World’s Leading Airline to Africa, in 2011 and 2012, and World’s Leading Airline to South America from 2009 through 2012. TAP’s Inflight Magazine, UP, received the World Travel Award as Europe’s Leading In-flight Magazine for 2015, 2016 and 2017.