TAP Air Portugal Expands To Cape Town, Cancun, And More

Filed Under: TAP Portugal

You wouldn’t expect many airlines to be loading new flights into the schedule right now  — especially ones due to launch in just a couple of months — but TAP Air Portugal is countering that trend.

TAP is one of the fastest growing airlines out there, especially across the Atlantic. For example, over the past five years they’ve gone from offering 16 weekly flights to North America, to operating 82 weekly flights to North America.

TAP Air Portugal launching more routes

TAP Air Portugal has loaded a few new flights into the schedule, which will still be launching in 2020. What makes TAP special is that:

  • They consistently have excellent fares, including in business class
  • They allow stopovers in Portugal, even on one-way tickets, so it’s a great way to explore Portugal while enroute from somewhere else
  • They now primarily use A330-900neos and A321LRs for long haul routes, which feature solid business class products

TAP is launching two new routes to North America and one new route to Africa, so let’s take a look at the details.

TAP launching Lisbon to Cape Town flight

This is perhaps the most exciting. As of November 11, 2020, TAP will be launching 3x weekly flights between Lisbon and Cape Town using an A330-900neo, with the following schedule:

TP275 Lisbon to Cape Town departing 10:30AM arriving 11:40PM [Sun, Wed, Fri]
TP276 Cape Town to Lisbon departing 2:05AM arriving 11:30AM [Mon, Thu, Sat]

As mentioned above, TAP consistently has excellent fares, which is why I’m so excited about this route, since it’s a great new option for scoring a good fare from South Africa to the US.

~$1,000 for a one-way business class fare from Cape Town to Miami in fully flat business class with direct aisle access? Yes please!

TAP is launching flights to Cape Town

TAP launching Lisbon to Cancun flight

This is probably more exciting for European tourists than for most of us in North America. As of October 27, 2020, TAP will be launching 3x weekly flights between Lisbon and Cancun using an A330-900neo, with the following schedule:

TP176 Lisbon to Cancun departing 9:35AM arriving 3:00PM [Tue, Thu, Sat]
TP177 Cancun to Lisbon departing 4:30PM arriving 6:30AM (+1 day) [Tue, Thu Sat]

This is TAP’s first route to Mexico, as the airline doesn’t even fly to Mexico City.

TAP is launching flights to Cancun

TAP launching Ponta Delgada to Toronto flight

As of this summer, TAP will be launching nonstop flights between Ponta Delgada (in the Azores) and Boston. It’s an interesting route, because previously the airline worked with Azores Airlines, and I can’t imagine this is very good for their partnership.

Now TAP is launching a second route between the Azores and North America.

As of June 25, 2020, TAP will be launching 2x weekly flights between Ponta Delgada and Toronto using an A321LR, with the following schedule:

TP261 Ponta Delgada to Toronto departing 3:40PM arriving 6:30PM [Sun, Thu]
TP258 Toronto to Ponta Delgada departing 9:25PM arriving 7:20AM (+1 day) [Sun, Thu]

TAP is launching a second route from the Azores to North America

Bottom line

These are some great addition to TAP’s network, even if it’s a bit odd to see further expansion in 2020.

I’m most excited about the new Cape Town flight, as this is now a great way to find a discounted business class fare from Cape Town to the US.

However, I’m also intrigued by TAP continuing to expand out of the Azores, with a second route to North America. That can’t be good for Azores Airlines, given that TAP has a far superior product.

What do you make of TAP’s new routes?

  1. I would assume the cape town flight is year round.

    At thar price is it worth it to just buy a ticket or use miles?

    And to follow that what does award space look like?

    I just had to cancel my trip to SA and this actually seems like a way more fun route to get there over the Ethiopian flight I was gonna take.

    Would you guys prefer stopping in Europe on the way to Africa or just flying directly to the continent?

  2. @Will

    Depends on the cost to me. if TAP has some good pricing and i can do the lisbon layover for 3 days or so then that’s perfect. Unless I have another stop on the trip this would be a great one-way and then maybe nonstop coming home on United or something else terrible.

  3. I’m still hoping TAP follows through with service to ATL, my home airport. If they do they can expect at least some of my business.

  4. Was real excited for LIS – CPT routing. Unfortunately, the daily IAD or JFK flight to LIS get’s in after the flight. Would be a day layover :/

  5. @JD If your able to fly out of EWR there are flights with a 5 hour connection in LIS arriving into LIS at 5:45am and departing for CPT 10:30am (4:45h layover) all business class.

    I’m looking at Feb21 dates for example

  6. Just flew TAP from Madeira to Lisbon to Toronto in Business on March 21.

    The flight on a 320 neo was meh – standard 3 seat across “business” with the center full sized seat blocked off. March 17 – flight had zero service (a bottle of water for a 2 hr flight). Not much better in the other direction in February.

    Flight on the A330-900 neo on March 21 was ok – booked the chef option but they had reduced service because of Covid but did serve a quick meal. The service was great as they plied us with decent wine the entire flight.

    These new routes seem like a very attractive option as we for years wintered in the Western Cape (Stellenbosch) and haven’t been back since the bad ‘winter’ with the water problems. I might be very very tempted if the fares are reasonable. Just wish they flew from the west coast.

  7. @JD

    You can take advantage of TAP’s holiday in Lisbon offer which allows a stopover in Lisbon. Nice to break up a flight with a stop as the flight to Cape will be in the 10 – 12 hour range.

  8. @lucky the TAP flights no longer seem to be showing up in the united system. I cant find any award flights from LIS-CPT now

  9. @Phillip

    Your question actually answers itself but here are some comments:

    Both Johannesburg and Mexico City are not destinations but transfer hubs. The only reason to visit them is either for business or to connect to a real destination.

    In the past you had to transfer in JNB if you were flying internationally on CX, SAA and most other airlines. In 8 visits to South Africa passed through JNB 14 times. Recently CX has been flying to CPT and also have flown QR. There is only one main reason to visit JNB and that’s Kruger and associated game parks (which are probably overrated). Possibly golf at the Gary Player golf courses in Sun City. Definitely the transfer point for Victoria Falls.

    And why would you ever want to go to Mexico City? One of the worlds most polluted places to visit with nothing appealing for a tourist. Cancun is a great destination but I prefer Puerto Vallarta. Besides which, MEX is at altitude and I would imagine that departure with full fuel to reach LIS would actually not be possible 365 with a full load.

    No matter what, JNB and MEX would never be a reasonable choice for leisure travel.

  10. @john the flight isnt even showing up on TAP’s website and i cant find a press release anywhere.

    what happened ben?

  11. I see the flights showing up at the website. I think it is a brilliant move, and good to see an airline management that is willing to take risks.

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