Cape Town Air Access welcomes the addition of TAP Air Portugal to the Cape Town network. The direct seasonal Lisbon to Cape Town service, will operate three days a week and is scheduled to commence on 11 November 2020 and run until the end of March 2021.
The first flight from Cape Town International Airport will depart on Thursday, 12 November. The service will operate on an Airbus 330-900NEO, with a total passenger capacity of 298 seats - 34 in Business Class, 96 in Economy Extra, and 168 in Economy Class.
Lisbon, which serves as the airline’s operational hub, has seen a notable growth in passenger traffic to South Africa with a 25% in 2018 and 7% in 2019. Business Class passenger traffic grew 86% in 2019. Porto, another popular destination, saw a 65% increase in two-way passenger growth in 2018 with a 15% increase noted in 2019.
TAP also offers great onward connectivity to Southern Europe, North Africa and South America – all regions currently unserved from Cape Town. Brazil is one of the fastest growing markets for Cape Town, with a 78% increase in inbound traffic noted for 2019. Furthermore, the airline offers connectivity to a number of cities within Latin America which is a region with the highest passenger growth for both 2018 (12%) and 2019 (20%).
“These past few weeks have been surreal. We’ve watched the world close down in an attempt limit the spread of this devastating virus to which sadly, none of us are immune. The announcement by TAP Airlines could not have come at a better time. It’s instilled some much needed hope into the aviation industry. Their commitment is a clear demonstration of confidence in our destination and travel. As the team at Cape Town International Airport, we will be sure to be ready for their inaugural flight later this year and we look forward to welcoming them to the City,” commented Deon Cloete, General Manager of Cape Town International Airport.
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management within the City of Cape Town, added:
“Despite the current challenging times we face, I am excited to confirm a new direct flight between Cape Town and Lisbon, Portugal. Connectivity forms part of our strategy to connect Cape Town with key destinations in Africa and globally to stimulate and increase travel and trade, for the benefit of our residents. To increase connectivity and bring economic benefits to Cape Town, the City funds the Air Access initiative within Wesgro. While the tourism sector has been hit very hard due to the lockdown measures in South Africa and globally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I will continue to work with my Departments’ Special Business Partners to ensure that we assist businesses to weather this storm so they are ready to welcome back tourists and trade once we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.”
“We welcome this announcement by TAP Air Portugal, which brings with it a message of hope to airlines globally that we will travel again soon. The significant increase noted in Business Class travel builds a strong business proposition for Cape Town and the Western Cape, and we look forward to strengthening our trade and investment ties with Portugal, facilitated through the direct air access,” concluded Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.
About Cape Town Air Access
Cape Town Air Access is a collaborative, award-winning project, supported by a partnership with the private and public sectors. Since its launch in 2015, the project has landed 18 new routes – including this TAP Air Portugal service - and facilitated 23 route expansions for the Cape. This has increased CTIA’s capacity by over 750 000 seats which last year helped the airport reach the 11 million passenger per year mark for the first time.