CHICAGO, IL, 2018-Dec-03 — /Travel PR News/ — The Chicago Department of Aviation and TAP Air Portugal today (11/29/2018) announced nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Portugal’s Lisbon Airport (LIS) beginning in June 2019. The new service to Lisbon will be the first time Chicago will be linked to Portugal by a nonstop, scheduled passenger service. The announcement of this new destination builds on Chicago’s outstanding year for international air service, with a record 17 new routes expected to start at O’Hare in 2018.
When the new service starts in June 2019, TAP is expected to become the 17th Star Alliance carrier with nonstop service to O’Hare, after Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand begins service to Chicago later this week.
“New direct services to Lisbon and other key international destinations at O’Hare are fueling Chicago’s leading connectivity to the world,” said Jamie L. Rhee, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation. “The City of Chicago welcomes our newest airline partner, TAP, and thanks them for choosing the Chicago O’Hare market to expand their business. With TAP’s commitment at O’Hare, we are delivering new travel choices and economic opportunity for the City of Chicago, and expanding our world class service for travelers around the globe.”
This new, five times weekly service from O’Hare begins on June 1, 2019. The service will be operated by an Airbus A330-900neo, a brand new aircraft for which TAP is the launch carrier. Flights will depart Chicago-O’Hare at 6:05 p.m., arriving at Lisbon at 7:50 a.m. the next day. Inbound flights depart Lisbon at 1:05 p.m., and arrive at 4:05 p.m. the same day. The O’Hare-Lisbon service operates Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
TAP is Portugal’s leading airline and features service to 84 destinations in 34 countries worldwide with 2,500 flights a week. The 73-year-old national carrier has recently modernized its fleet, with 63 Airbus aircraft. The airline has reached new heights in the last few years, boarding more than 14 million customers in 2017 and being named one of 2018’s 10 fastest growing carriers.
“With more than 70 new planes on the way, this is only just the beginning for new services around the world, including from the US,” said David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways and a major shareholder in TAP. “With 10 gateways in Brazil with service to Portugal, we believe we can support the same number from the US. Today’s expansion to Chicago and DC is built around the fact that service to Lisbon is growing, with more visitors from the U.S. visiting places in Portugal than ever before.”
The establishment of new international air service has a significant impact on the local economy, with new TAP service from O’Hare expected to bring a $110 million annual economic impact to the Chicago region. On a broader scale, this route benefits the City’s growing global business and trade partnerships in Portugal, where approximately 36 Chicago area-based companies have operations.
“I am very pleased to see a new bridge open from USA to Europe via the new TAP Air Portugal flight from Chicago to Lisbon,” said Mr. Nelson de Castro, Hon. Consul of Portugal, Chicago. “This will become one of the shortest flights from Chicago to Europe, landing at a beautiful country with over 3,000 years of cultural diversity and tremendous architectural, gastronomic and rich red wine alternatives to explore.”
All flights from O’Hare to Lisbon will operate on the Airbus A330-900neo, featuring the new Airspace by Airbus Cabin. The economy cabin now comprises two categories: Economy and EconomyXtra. The configuration and design provide a fresh atmosphere, with more legroom, deeper seat recline—with seat pitch of 31 inches in Economy and a pitch of 34 inches in Xtra. In TAP’s Executive business class, the configuration now comprises 25 new fully-flat reclining chairs that are more than six feet long when fully reclined.
Travelers choosing TAP from O’Hare can opt for the Portugal Stopover program, launched in 2016 by the airline to further attract the ‘beyond Lisbon’ guest. Travelers to all of TAP’s European and African destinations can enjoy up to five nights in Lisbon or Porto along the way, for no extra airfare. Portugal Stopover customers coming from Chicago-O’Hare will be afforded a chance to see Lisbon or Porto, and either London, Rome, Paris or Amsterdam, with one flat fare and access to other exclusive offers while in Portugal.
O’Hare has been ranked number one for connectivity among U.S. mega hub airports for the past three years in a row, based on the highest ratio of possible scheduled flights to destinations served. This connectivity is supported by O’Hare’s sustained international service growth, with a record 17 new international routes expected to start in 2018. This year, Chicago will become one of the few cities in the world to offer nonstop passenger air service to all six major inhabited regions of the world (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America).
O’Hare’s international capacity is expected to continue to grow, thanks to the City and its airline partners’ recently approved $8.5 billion plan to expand O’Hare’s terminals over the next decade. These investments are a part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s O’Hare 21 vision, designed to modernize facilities, expand capacity and passenger amenities, and enable O’Hare’s future growth to better connect travelers and Chicago to other parts of the world.
For more information about TAP and to purchase tickets, please visit www.flytap.com
Source: Chicago Department of Aviation