TAP Air Portugal, the 73-year-old national carrier, has announced it will launch five round-trip flights per week between Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Lisbon beginning on June 16, 2019.
The new route will be operated with the new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft. TAP is the launch carrier for the aircraft, with 21 planned for delivery in the next two years, joining a fleet of 71 aircraft in total being delivered.
TAP officials noted that the A330neo will feature the new Airspace by Airbus cabin comprised of three categories: Economy, EconomyXtra and TAP’s executive business class.
“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 U.S. Today’s announcement 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.”
Fares on the new route in the Economy cabin start at $265 one-way, with TAP’s executive business class fares start at $1,456 one-way, for travel to Lisbon.
“This new connection 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 Domingos Fezas Vital, the Ambassador of Portugal to the United States. “In that sense, it is a major contribution to the further strengthening of the already close links between two peoples and two countries that are neighbors across the ocean.”
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 spend up to five nights in Lisbon or Porto along the way, for no extra airfare.
TAP Air Portugal is the fourth air carrier to announce new service to Dulles International this year, following Alitalia, Cathay Pacific and Volaris. Currently 33 foreign flag carriers operate out of Washington, D.C.’s, international airport, representing more than 80 percent of all international air traffic in the region. Over the last 12 months, passenger traffic at Dulles International has grown by more than four-percent to 23.7 million passengers.