TAP Air Portugal, which has been on an aggressive expansion plan since JetBlue founder David Neeleman took control in 2015, is adding Chicago and Washington DC to its route map, bringing its U.S. bases to six, and with plans to add four more in the near future.
The new cities will be added with TAP's newest planes, the A330-900neo, and will connect with a European network that TAP has also been expanding rapidly. TAP is the launch customer for the plane.
According to Neeleman, the ability to feed trans-Atlantic passengers into more European cities allows the airline to compete better both in the trans-Atlantic sector, and within Europe, where the added passengers help it compete with lowcost carriers such as Ryanair.
The existing TAP cities in the U.S. are Boston, Miami, New York JFK and Newark Liberty. It also flies to Toronto, and is a major factor in trans-Atlantic flights to and from Portuguese-speaking Brazil.