While most airlines around the world are reducing their flight schedules, TAP Air Portugal just added a new route from Boston to Ponta Delgada, the airline’s only nonstop to the Azores from the USA.
While Europe remains closed to US visitors who are not traveling on essential business or meeting the other exemptions, Portuguese-Americans are able to travel to Portugal, and many trace their family history back to the Azores.
TAP will operate the new route three times each week using brand new Airbus A321LR aircraft, with Business Class, Economy Class and EconomyXtra. The inaugural flight departed Ponta Delgada yesterday at 3:40pm, landing early at Boston Logan International Airport last evening at 4:56pm, 24 minutes earlier than the scheduled 5:20pm arrival. The first outbound flight depart Logan a few minutes before its 10:30pm scheduled departure, arriving this morning in Ponta Delgada on time at 7:25am.
Through the end of July, TAP is offering customers the reassurance of the “Book with Confidence” program, to support travelers from the US who are unsure about making flight bookings for the next few months. TAP will offer free re-booking for all new tickets booked from July 1-31, for travel through October 31, with changes required 21 days before departure. (Change fee is waived but any fare difference is still due.)
“It’s a rare privilege to be able to introduce a new route during such a hard time for the airline industry, and global travel in general,” said Carlos Paneiro, TAP Air Portugal’s VP, Sales, for the Americas. “The Azores has always been incredibly popular with Portuguese Americans, especially in the summer so we’re thrilled to be able offer a nonstop flight as well as our Lisbon stopover option.”
“Our continued partnership with airlines such as TAP is important to ensuring that people get to where they have to go during this extraordinary time,” said Ed Freni, Massport Aviation Director. “Keeping our passengers and employees safe and healthy is our number 1 priority. We encourage international travelers to wear masks, follow social distancing guidelines, and to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Boston.”
“It’s wonderful to have TAP flying to the Azores nonstop from the USA, said Luís Capdeville Botelho, CEO at Visit Azores. “ We so look forward to welcoming US visitors back to our beautiful home again very soon.”
TAP also serves Lisbon from Boston so US travelers will now be able to fly either nonstop to and from the Azores, or add stopover in Lisbon on either trip.