Azores Airlines’ Almost Transatlantic A321 Flight To New York

Azores Airlines has begun the first-ever non-stop service between New York JFK and Funchal, Madeira. It uses the A321neo, another example of how the aircraft can open up thin long-haul opportunities, and it comes shortly after Ryanair announced a base on Madeira. It seems that Azores Airlines will begin Ponta Delgada to JFK next year.

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Madeira is now connected non-stop to JFK. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr.

Azores Airlines inaugurates JFK-Funchal

Azores Airlines has inaugurated Funchal to New York JFK. Originally due to start on November 1st, it was postponed until November 29th. It uses 190-seat A321LRs, with 75% of transatlantic narrowbody services now by the A321. The route revolves around inbound tourism, and Portugal tour operator Inovtravel has launched new travel packages to Madeira.

Operating on Mondays, some 17 round-trips will run until March 21st, just before the end of the northern hemisphere winter season on March 26th. The schedule is as follows, with all times local. The 3,158-mile (5,082km) route has a block time to the US of seven hours and 50 minutes and six hours and 15 minutes back. The difference is because of wind direction.

  • S4263: departing Funchal at 16:00 and arriving JFK at 18:50
  • S4262: leaving JFK at 20:50 and arriving back at 08:05 the following day
Azores Airlines JFK to Funchal
Passengers disembark following the first arrival from JFK. The brand-new service operates weekly. Photo: VINCI Airports.

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The first round-trip

According to Radarbox.com, the first departure to JFK left at 16:16 and arrived at 18:28 local time after some seven hours and eight minutes. Returning, it departed JFK at 21:15 and arrived back at 08:12 after a mere five hours and 57 minutes.

The first round-trip used CS-TSH, a 2.45-year-old aircraft, delivered to the airline in July 2019. It is leased from Air Lease Corporation, with a confirmed lease end date of July 2027, ch-aviation.com reveals. Azores Airlines has three A321LRs, with this example primarily deployed from Ponta Delgada to Boston and Toronto and to the Portuguese mainland.

The aircraft operating Funchal-JFK-Funchal originates in Ponta Delgada, Azores. It operates to Madeira, 612 miles (986km) away, before continuing to the US, although the two services are separate. S4162 arrives at Funchal at 14:40 and leaves as S4163 the next day at 09:35.

Azores Airlines JFK to Funchal first flight
After 78 minutes on the ground in Funchal, the aircraft continued home to Ponta Delgada. Image: Radarbox.com.

Ponta Delgada to JFK is coming

Next year, Azores Airlines has six routes to the US and Canada, as shown below in order of total flights. Another new route, Ponta Delgada to JFK, is set to take off on March 31st, based on the carrier’s schedule submission to OAG, although it isn’t yet bookable. While starting at twice-weekly, it is expected to rise to four-weekly from June onwards.

  • Ponta Delgada to Boston
  • Ponta Delgada to Toronto
  • Ponta Delgada to JFK
  • Terceira to Toronto
  • Terceira to Boston
  • Funchal to JFK

Existing routes to Toronto and Boston are driven by Portuguese diaspora. Over 500,000 Portuguese nationals and those of Portuguese heritage live in Canada, especially in the Toronto area, while the Greater Boston area has the highest number of Portuguese-Americans in the US.

What is the longest A321 route you’ve flown? Let us know in the comments.

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