From January 2019, there will be 13 daily flights between Porto and Lisbon, with flights every hour at peak times. The route will be served by Airbus jet aircraft, which will allow an increase in the number of seats available per year to 220,000, representing 50% growth.
TAP’s decision is in response to the demand for Ponte Aérea flights since it launched the service in 2016, which has always achieved high load factors.
The Airbus aircraft that will serve the Ponte Aérea route can be connected to the boarding gate by jet bridge, which makes it easier and quicker to embark and disembark passengers. This means the operation will be more efficient, especially at Lisbon airport, given existing constraints. Transporting luggage is also made easier with jet aircraft, which will benefit passengers in transit for international flights.
Reorganising the Ponte Aérea has been a priority for TAP, which at the end of October increased the number of daily connections, added another aircraft to the fleet and made changes to the timetable, all of which has made a significant increase in punctuality possible. The Ponte Aérea cumulative punctuality rate in November has been 78.5%.
“The Ponte Aérea is much more punctual as a result of the changes we have been implementing and, from January, the connection will be operated with jets, which will further improve punctuality levels and our passengers’ comfort”, said TAP’s CEO, Antonoaldo Neves.
The Ponte Aérea has already carried two million passengers since it launched and is acknowledged as a means of taking even more tourists to Porto. In 2017, of the 595,000 passengers travelling to Porto, 49% purchased their trip in Europe (293,000), 30.8% in Portugal, outside Porto (183,000), 9% in Brazil (54,000) and 4% in the USA (26,000).