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A line of TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330 aircraft in Lisbon. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

With End of Ban, Airlines Restart Flights From Brazil to Portugal

After almost three months with no flights between both countries, this week three airlines are restarting their flights between Brazil to Portugal. Last Friday the Portuguese Government, via its Ministry of Home Affairs, lifted the ban that forbid passenger operations to the South America’s largest nation, as well as to the United Kingdom — measures that were undertaken to contain the spread of the aggressive COVID-19 variants originated in these nations.

The three airlines that connected the countries rushed to relaunch flights as soon as possible, despite the short notice, announcing 31 operations a week to the end of April – especially given the very important economic, historical and cultural relations between Brazil and Portugal; until COVID hit, the country was, by far, the European country with the most traffic to Brazil. Flights will connect Lisbon to ten cities in Brazil with 30 weekly frequencies, with Porto being connected to one Brazilian city nonstop once a week.

Nonstop connections to be restarted between Brazil and Portugal. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado, created with Great Circle Mapper)

TAP Air Portugal, the largest airline in services between both countries, restarted flights already on the same day of the announcement – it was operating cargo flights between both even during the restrictions – serving the countries 25 times a week, with flights from Lisbon to Belo Horizonte (two weekly), Brasília (two weekly), Fortaleza (three weekly), Maceió with a stop in Recife (two weekly), Rio de Janeiro (five weekly), Salvador (two weekly) and São Paulo/Guarulhos (six weekly). Porto and Rio de Janeiro will also be served once a week.

The Brazilian airlines on the route, Azul and LATAM Brasil, will connect Lisbon from their own largest hubs only; the first from Campinas and the second from São Paulo/Guarulhos. Azul has restarted connecting both countries from Sunday with three weekly flights, whereas LATAM will start its operations on Thursday, also with three flights every week.

However, despite the reopening, Portugal’s Ministry of Home Affairs reminded passengers in its press release that the flights are still closed for essential purposes, also requiring a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the European country, as is done with countries with over 500 COVID-19 infections for 100,000 people. Additionally, the country requires a negative RT-PCR test upon boarding, says Diário de Negócios.

Essential purposes, according to the local government, are the ones “destined to allow transit or enter in Portugal of citizens in travel for professional reasons, study, family reunion, health reasons or humanitarian reasons.”

Conversely, the only country-specific restrictions imposed by the Brazilian health authorities are a flight ban to the United Kingdom and South Africa, albeit the country requires a negative COVID test before arrival in the country.

João Machado
João Machado
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