TAP outlines route plan for 2020, with focus on USA and Brazil.
TAP has posted remarkable growth in the number of destinations offered by its network over the last two years. In 2018, the Airline increased its number of destinations by 12% and it has expanded by another 9.3% so far in 2019. In 2020, the focus will be to consolidate and expand the most successful investments.
There will be a more modern and comfortable fleet next year. All long-haul aircraft will have new or renovated interiors and the A321LR fleet is going to be four times larger than in 2019. TAP is going to continue to invest in its operation and a lot of news are already expected for next summer.
USA investment continues
The Airline is going to continue its major investment in the United States in 2020, with four daily flights to New York: double the daily flights between Lisbon and New York (JFK), in addition to the Lisbon-Newark (EWR) and Porto-Newark (EWR) flights, which are going to depart daily. There are going to be 10 flights a week to Miami, instead of the current seven. The new routes to Washington, D.C. and Chicago will also have daily flights.
A321LR to fly to Brazil’s Northeast, enabling more weekly flights TAP is to continue to invest in Brazil, flying the new A321LR and there will be extra flights to the cities of Natal and Belém, rising from three to five flights a week to each destination.
TAP stays on top at Porto
TAP grew by 20% between 2017 and 2018 in the number of passengers it carried to and from Porto, passing the two million mark for the first time. The outlook is just as positive for this year, 2019, bearing in mind that between January and July TAP had already grown by 11%. These numbers will enable TAP to implement changes to the Porto network in 2020 and redirect capacity to markets where the Airline can be more competitive.
TAP is going to redirect capacity from the Porto-Barcelona and Porto-Lyon flights, suspending operations in those markets, which have many competitors, in order to develop the brand-new air shuttle “Ponte Aérea” between Porto and Madrid, which will have six flights a day, more than double the current offer. This also enables an increase in connections between Porto and Funchal with an extra midday flight every day, using the new Airbus A321neo Long Range as well as daily flights between Porto and Newark (EWR) and a fourth Porto-São Paulo flight per week.
Finally, the “Ponte Aérea” to Lisbon will gain an extra flight each day compared to summer 2019. With these adjustments, TAP will slightly increase the number of flights in and out of Porto in 2020 and secure the share it has won over the last two years.
Continual strengthening of Lisbon Hub
In Lisbon, the number of passengers also continues to rise: Numbers rose by 8.8% between 2017 and 2018 and have already grown 6% this year. Capacity from Lisbon to Stuttgart, Cologne and Basel will be redirected to other markets. A new “Ponte Aérea” will be created, connecting Lisbon and Madrid.
In addition, TAP is going to launch a new route to Santiago de Compostela and bolster other Spanish connections, adding daily flights between Lisbon and the cities of Barcelona (from six to seven flights a day), Bilbao, Valencia and Malaga (the latter three going from two to three flights a day), and Seville (from three to four flights a day). Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, is also going to get one more flight a day from Lisbon, improving the connectivity of TAP’s intercontinental network.
The Tel Aviv route, which was launched this year has been a success, so the Airline is now investing in two flights a day instead of just one, both using the modern A321 Long Range, enabling better connectivity between Israel, the United States and Brazil. TAP is also going to use the A321LR to fly to Moscow, responding to the comfort needs of passengers flying to this destination.
Suspension of London City operation
Due to Customer demand uncertainty associated with Brexit, and poorer than expected results, TAP has decided to suspend the London City airport operation, partially compensating the loss with an increase in flights from Lisbon and Porto to the other London airports at times of greater demand.
New aircraft to Luanda and Maputo
The investment in more modern, efficient and comfortable equipment will also enable TAP to make the new A330neo aircraft available to passengers flying to Luanda as of October this year and to passengers flying to Maputo by the end of the year.
TAP’s 2020 route plan is, of course, subject to obtaining slots, a process starting now in August.