Portugal’s TAP boosts capacity of Brazilian routes to 1 million passengers per year

25 April 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 25 April – Portuguese air carrier TAP is in the process of boosting its Brazilaiin routes, and expects to be able to carry 1 million passengers this year taking advantage of Brazilian airline Varig having dropped its routes to Portugal.

Accordingt o Portuguese financial daily Jornal de Negócios, the increase is due to new flights to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and an increase in available seats on the Salvador da Bahia route, now served by an Airbus A330 (244 passengers), instead of an A310 (188 passengers).

The total increase will be 3,640 seats per week to a total of 20,920, which is the equivalent of 1 million available seats per year.

Varig has suspended its flights to Portugal due to financial difficulties.

The Brazilian airline had a weekly flight from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro and six flights to Sao Paulo, all of which were served by a Boeing 767, with a capacity to transport 221 passengers, or a total of 3,000 passengers per week including outward and return journeys.

Speaking to the Portuguese paper, TAP executive Luiz Gama Mor said he was sorry for the difficulties Varig was having, but said it was possible TAP would increase its flights to Brazil.

“I don’t know if our increase [of flights to Brazil] is enough, and I’m not ruling out the possibility of having more flights to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo”, Gama Mor said. (macauhub)