TAP Portugal going through a revolution YYZ flights now YUL to come
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tuesday, June 13, 2017 TORONTO — The low introductory airfares on TAP Portugal’s new Lisbon flights out of Toronto will be back in late fall, just in time for Canadian snowbirds looking for wallet-friendly pricing to sunny Portugal and its beaches.“Agents will see some low fares coming back for the winter – it will be $700s through November and then the $500s will come back,” said Carlos Paneiro, VP Sales North & Central America for the airline. Lisbon is about a two-hour drive from the Algarve.TAP’s Toronto service took to the skies on June 10, flying nonstop to Lisbon five days per week. Flights depart Toronto Pearson at 11:55 p.m., arriving in Lisbon at 12:15 p.m. the following day. The return flight departs Lisbon at 6:45 p.m. and arrives in Toronto at 10 p.m. TAP is using A330s for the route, and the planes have been retrofitted with upgrades. There are 244 economy class seats (with a minimum 31” pitch) and 25 lie-flat business class seats.TAP “is going through a revolution,” says David Neeleman. As one of the co-founders of WestJet and founder and former CEO of JetBlue, and now co-owner of TAP Portugal, Neeleman knows how to build airlines. “We’re bringing in an all-new fleet. We’re renovating all the interiors [of existing aircraft]. And now with our connections we’re a viable option to get all over Europe.”David Neeleman, Co-Owner, TAP Portugal and Carlos Paneiro, VP Sales North & Central America, TAP PortugalTAP Portugal at Toronto’s Pearson AirportIt’s been years since TAP flew out of Toronto and the carrier had Montreal flights at one time too. Through the 1970s, 80s and 90s TAP did good business out of Toronto and Montreal to Lisbon on 707s and 747s, at that time serving a sizeable VFR market without much onward traffic.More news: Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureFast forward to 2017 and TAP’s network has grown considerably. Paneiro says he anticipates that about 60 to 70% of passengers onboard the Toronto flights will be outbound Canadian passengers, and of those about 50% will take advantage of TAP’s network to fly beyond Lisbon to Europe (where TAP has 52 gateways) and Africa (15).TAP also has a strong presence in Brazil, with 10 gateways. “TAP has 32% of all traffic going from Brazil to Europe,” says Neeleman, adding he can see a day in the not-so-distant future when TAP “could end up serving more cities out of North America than Brazil.”Toronto is TAP’s fifth North American gateway and its first this time around in Canada (Neeleman says a return to the Montreal market “is certainly an option for us”). TAP’s four U.S. gateways are New York JFK, Newark, Boston and Miami. The number of passengers flying from the USA in the last year has doubled for the popular European carrier. TAP currently flies approximately 12 million passengers a year.The carrier’s A330 aircraft now feature full-flat beds in Business class, more comfortable Slimline seats in Economy, and some of the world’s most advanced inflight entertainment systems.More news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThis autumn, the airline will announce a revolutionized wine list, with a new selection model that will give Portuguese producers the opportunity to promote their products internationally.TAP has also developed a new ‘Taste the Stars’ program, a team of seven Portuguese chefs – all have won Michelin Stars – who are adding new Portuguese flavours to re-make the airline’s onboard cuisine, starting in September, in both Business and Economy cabins.Further, the Michelin chefs’ restaurants will also now be part of TAP’s popular ‘Portugal Stopover’ program, where travellers can enjoy up to three nights in Lisbon and/or Porto en route to Europe or Africa for no extra airfare.Out of JFK and Boston, where ‘Portugal Stopover’ has proven enormously successful, more than 50% of passengers are taking advantage of the stopover program. Portugal Stopover features more than 150 partners offering exclusive prices for Stopover customers for hotels, a free bottle of Portuguese wine in restaurants and free experiences, such as tuk-tuk rides, visits to museums, dolphin watching in the River Sado and food tastings, among others.Travel agents are a big part of the equation for TAP, says Neeleman. “Travel agents have evolved to be more about service. For them to be on top of this, that’s huge for us. We’ll be getting some of them over there too. I think travel agents just bring the options, more options, to consumers.” Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: New Routes, TAP Portugal TAP Portugal ‘going through a revolution’; YYZ flights now, YUL to come?