TAP Is Now Only Flying Airbus neo Aircraft To North America

TAP Air Portugal has grown very strongly to North America in the past few years. It ended 2019 with almost 1.3 million seats, nearly four times as many as it had in 2015. While COVID has obviously taken its toll, we examine TAP’s development and see where it is flying – with its North America network now fully by Airbus neos.

TAP A330-900
TAP has added seven destinations in the US and Canada since 2016. These include San Francisco, where this image was taken. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

TAP to North America

TAP added more capacity to the US and Canada between 2015 and 2016 than it did from 2004 to 2015, according to OAG. In 2015, just Newark and Miami were served. Boston and New York JFK joined in 2016, while Toronto was added the following year.

Chicago O’Hare, San Francisco, and Washington Dulles all appeared in 2019, while Newark, Miami, and Toronto saw good increases in capacity. Despite the pandemic, Montreal debuted in mid-2020, bringing to nine TAP’s North America network.

TAP to North America
In 2005, TAP’s average seats-per-flight to North America was just 212, the result of mainly being served by the A310-300 but also the A340-300. By 2019, it had risen to 275, its highest to date. Source of data: OAG.

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Where is TAP Air Portugal flying?

Between July 27th and October 30th, the end of the IATA northern hemisphere summer, TAP has nine bookable routes to the US and Canada: eight from Lisbon and one from Porto. The 3,384-mile link from Lisbon to Newark, a Star Alliance hub, is the most-served. Looking at the first week of August, TAP has:

  1. Lisbon to Newark: 14-weekly (two-daily); A321LR (nine) and A330-900 (five)
  2. Lisbon-Boston: seven-weekly; A330-900 (four) and A321LR (three)
  3. Lisbon-Dulles: seven-weekly; A321LR
  4. Lisbon-Toronto: seven-weekly; A330-900 (four) and A321LR (three)
  5. Lisbon-Miami: four-weekly; A330-900
  6. Lisbon-Montreal: four-weekly; A321LR
  7. Lisbon-Chicago: three-weekly; A330-900
  8. Lisbon-San Francisco: three-weekly; A330-900
  9. Porto-Newark: twice-weekly; A330-900

Perhaps surprisingly, routes launched in 2019/2020 are still served. This contrasts with Cathay Pacific, which cut Dulles and Seattle, both inaugurated in 2019, in the wake of the pandemic.

TAP Air Portugal A330neo
TAP’s most-served North America route? Lisbon to Newark. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

No JFK until October 31st

Lisbon-JFK doesn’t operate again until October 31st, the first day of winter, with TAP using Newark for the Greater New York area until then. When it returns, JFK will operate seven-weekly from Lisbon using the A321LR (five-weekly) and the A330-900 (two). Its wider New York market operation will rise to 21-weekly.

TAP to the US and Canada
When writing, these four are all heading to across the North Atlantic to Toronto, Boston, Dulles, and Newark. They departed Lisbon in the smaller late morning/noon bank and will arrive back in Portugal before 06:00 the following morning. The main departures to the US/Canada leave 17:00-18:30 and return mid-morning the next day. Image: Radarbox.com.

TAP’s A330-900s and A321LRs

TAP’s US and Canada network is now solely operated by neos. In contrast, they were supplemented by the A330-200 and the larger -300 in 2019, and by just the A330-200 in 2020. ch-aviation.com shows that TAP has retired all A330-300s, while only one -200 is now active.

At the start of August, TAP is only using the A321LR to Dulles and Montreal, while the narrowbody supplements the A330-900 to Newark, Boston, and Toronto. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

The A321LR, of which TAP has 11, has a 171-seat configuration. There are 125 seats in economy along with 30 in premium economy and 16 fully flat business seats. Meanwhile, TAP has 19 A330-900s, each with 298 seats: 168 in economy; 96 in premium economy; and 34 in business (fully flat).

Have you flown TAP across the North Atlantic? Let us know about your experience in the comments.