TAP Air Portugal has announced plans to add two new routes from the United States, launching a “non-stop” service to Lisbon from Washington, DC and Chicago. The service will be launched next year, and will begin with five flights per week between Chicago O’Hare and Lisbon on 1 June 2019, and will later offer five more flights between Washington-Dulles and Lisbon on 16 June.
The airline will also be using the new routes to Lisbon to promote its Portugal Stopover program, which was originally launched in 2016 and encourages tourism to places in Portugal outside Lisbon, including Faro and many more. The stopover program itself allows travellers to choose from over 70 destinations throughout Europe and Africa, and offers a number of benefits including hotel discounts in Faro and other locations, as well as free museum entry.
Commenting on the new plans, Domingos Fezas Vital, Portugal’s ambassador to the United States, said, “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. In that sense, they are a major contribution to the further strengthening of the already close links between two peoples and two countries, which are neighbours across the ocean.”
“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 USA. Today’s expansion to Chicago and Washington, DC reflects what an increasingly popular destination Portugal has become, especially with visitors from the USA. Our network beyond Lisbon is also growing. We now serve 55 destinations in Europe and 17 in Africa, and fully 50 per cent of our American passengers are flying with us to places beyond Portugal, many making use of our popular Portugal Stopover program.”