TAP has opened three new destinations in North America since it was privatised: Boston, New York-JFK and Toronto and increased its flights to Miami and Newark to every day, totalling 35 weekly flights to North America.
The United States market has more than tripled its importance for TAP in terms of sales revenues as a result of this investment. TAP carried more than 1.3 million passengers on its US flights to and from Boston and JFK between 2016, when these routes started, and May this year. This is a 155% increase in passengers compared with the numbers on the North American routes in 2015 before privatisation.
And this market is still expanding. TAP carried 62,000 passengers on it US routes in May which is 10.4% more than in the same month last year.
TAP foresees even greater growth in passenger numbers and North American destinations with the arrival of new aircraft starting at the end of this year. The new A330neo and A321neo provide better passenger comfort and quality as well as cost savings that mean the company can offer a more competitive product.
Furthermore, a commercial agreement with JetBlue, one of the main North American airlines, is also decisive in opening the doors to the Portuguese airline. TAP now has connections between its flights in Boston and JFK with 34 JetBlue destinations in the United States as part of this agreement, including S. Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Detroit, New Orleans, Savannah, San Juan, Richmond and Tampa. TAP has carried around 72,000 passengers under this codeshare agreement.
As we could see that the market was interested in Portugal as a destination, TAP has been investing in advertising its Stopover product on the North American market. This is a key tool in the strategy to conquer the United States market. Stopover lets passengers flying from the USA to Europe enjoy up to five days in Portugal at no extra cost.
These stays in Portugal, where they have the chance to discover one or more cities, encourage them to make a later journey back specifically to Portugal. The programme has been repeatedly recognised by prestigious international publications. The US edition of the Conde Nast Traveler magazine said it was the best Stopover programme in the world. And the New York Times also praised Portugal Stopover today: https://nyti.ms/2JOxGzL
Credits: TAP, Air Portugal