Beginning June 4th, TAP Air Portugal will once more be taking off across the Atlantic. The first destination to make its way back onto the schedule is New York’s Newark Liberty, with two flights per week from Lisbon. Several other routes will commence in July, while the government still ponders capital injections and a potential re-nationalization.
New York first, new routes to follow
Beginning next week, passenger planes with TAP livery will once more be taking off from Europe’s second most westerly capital towards North America. On June 4th, the carrier will recommence its Lisbon to New York route with two flights per week.
Come July, the airline’s transatlantic services will be expanded with Lisbon to Miami and Toronto. Towards the end of the month, on the 30th, it will also be launching three weekly flights to Montreal.
July will also see the launch of TAP’s three new routes from the Azores Islands in the Atlantic. Three flights per week will operate on the Ponta Delgada to Boston route from July 1st, and two per week on the Ponta Delgada to Toronto service, beginning July 3rd.
Returning to Europe
The Portuguese flag-carrier, which was privatized in 2015, is also planning a more substantial return to European skies. At the time being, the airline operates two flights a week from Lisbon to London and Paris. Come July, it intends to ramp up the frequency on those routes.
It will also add flights to destinations such as Brussels, Berlin, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid. Altogether, flights in July will tally in at about 240 per week. That is in comparison to the 2,500 plus weekly flights TAP operates per week under normal conditions.
Decision on state-aid by mid-June
TAP, like so many other airlines, in April handed in a request for state-aid to see it through the crisis and ensure its survival. According to Reuters, the Portuguese Government expects to have reached a decision on a potential capital injection by mid-June.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa has even raised the possibility for a re-nationalization. Currently, the state of Portugal owns 50%, Brazilian-American airline entrepreneur David Neeleman 45%, and TAP employees the remaining 5%.
TAP owner has launched four airlines
David Neeleman is the founder of four other commercial airlines. Morris Air, which was sold to Southwest Airlines in 1993, merely a year after commencing operations. Low-cost Canadian carrier WestJet has become the second-largest air carrier in the country.
JetBlue Airways is now the sixth-largest in the US in terms of passengers carried. Neeleman’s native country’s Azul Linhas Aereas has also done well, placing itself as the third-largest domestic and second-largest international airline in Brazil.
Neeleman has even planned to launch another carrier, called Breeze Airways, in the US. The intention was for operations to commence in 2021. Quite possibly, the present pandemic may have put a pin in the fan on that schedule.