LONDON – TAP Portugal will expand its presence across the United States following the successful delivery of the its first Airbus A330-900neo. The Lisbon-based carrier will launch nonstop flights to Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) for next year’s summer schedule.

In 2017, TAP logged 14 million customers traveling across its network and was named as one of 2018’s top 10 fastest growing carriers.

In 2019, the airline will add two key routes which are expected to add more passengers to its growing numbers.

Washington-Dulles, Chicago O’Hare

The carrier will be launching services to ORD from Lisbon on June 1 next year on a five times per week basis.

The flights will depart Chicago at 18:05, arriving into Lisbon at 07:50 the next morning. The return will depart at 13:05, arriving back into O’Hare at 16:05. These services will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Photo: Daniel Sander.

David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways and major shareholder in TAP, stated that “this is only just the beginning” for the carrier.

Photo: Daniel Sander.

He continued to say that the “expansion to Chicago and Washington, DC reflects what an increasingly popular destination Portugal has become, especially with visitors from the U.S.”

Services to Washington will commence over two weeks later on June 16, also operating on a five times per week basis.

The D.C. flights, which will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays will depart Dulles at 22:40, arriving into Lisbon at 10:50 the next day. The return flight will depart Lisbon at 1630, arriving into Washington D.C. at 1940. 

These routes will join the +2,500 weekly flights the Portuguese carrier operates from its hubs in Lisbon and Porto, offering 84 destinations across 34 countries worldwide. 

Future Fleet Re-Shaping TAP

These flights will be operated by, presumably, the airline’s future Airbus A321LRs. TAP 20 Airbus A330-900neos, 19 A320neos, 17 A321neos and 14 A321 Long-Range aircraft ordered.

The A330neos will offer Economy and EconomyXtra, with the configuration and design providing “a fresh atmosphere, with more legroom, deeper seat recline, and new seat covers”.

Standard pitch arrangements in Economy is around 31 inches, with EconomyXtra offering 34 inches of legroom. 

Photo: Daniel Sander.

Overall, this is showing that TAP is not messing around when it comes to the deployment of the new aircraft is set to receive.

It is all part of an expansion plan to keep its passenger numbers soaring as much as possible, even under the constrained pressure of capacity at its hub of Lisbon.