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TAP’s first flight from the Azores arriving in Boston. (Photo: TAP Air Portugal)

TAP Launches New Azores-Boston Nonstop Service

TAP Air Portugal, Portugal’s national airline, announced Tuesday new nonstop service to the United States from the Azores, according to an emailed statement obtained by AirlineGeeks. Launched this week, the flight marks the airline’s only nonstop service between Ponta Delgada, Portugal and Boston.

The inaugural flight departed yesterday from Ponta Delgada-João Paulo II International Airport bound for Boston. The A321LR departed at 3:20 P.M. and arrived in Boston at 4:56 P.M., 24 minutes ahead of schedule.

“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 vice president of 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 to offer a nonstop flight as well as our Lisbon stopover option.”

Travel to Europe by U.S. citizens remains restricted to essential business travel or those meeting other specific exemptions. The travel restrictions, imposed by government officials in Europe to help curb the spread of the ongoing world-wide Coronavirus pandemic, do not apply to Portuguese-Americans who are permitted to fly to Portugal.

TAP will offer the new roundtrip flights to the popular island locale three times a week. The Azores, ranked as Europe’s fourth-best island and the World’s 11th Best Island by Travel + Leisure magazine, is a popular tourist destination.

TAP also announced it will extend its “Book with Confidence” program to its U.S. customers who may be uncertain about making travel plans in the next few months. TAP is offering free re-booking for all new tickets booked from July 1st to July 31st for travel through Oct. 31st. Changes to travel plans must be made 21 days before departure to take advantage of the offer.

TAP’s new service was met with enthusiasm from both sides of the Atlantic.

Luís Capdeville Botelho, CEO at Visit Azores said, “It’s wonderful to have TAP flying to the Azores nonstop from the USA. We so look forward to welcoming US visitors back to our beautiful home again very soon.”

Boston’s Ed Freni, Massport Aviation Director, said, “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.”

TAP also serves Lisbon from Boston, so U.S. travelers will now be able to fly either nonstop to and from the Azores, or add stopover in Lisbon.

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