On June 1st TAP Portugal announced the launch of its inaugural flight from Manchester to Lisbon. The launch event was attended by Angie Robinson, chief executive of MIDAS.
The new route has opened up a wide range of potential business links with destinations in Europe and further afield in South America such as Madeira, Porto, the Azores, Rio de Janeiro, Natal and Recife.
Angie Robinson, Chief Executive of MIDAS, said: “TAP Portugal’s new route is a fantastic addition to the Manchester Airport route network. It’s extremely important to Manchester – in terms of projects, Europe currently generates the most Foreign Direct Investment for the region. The business class flights from Lisbon will offer a great opportunity to develop links with Portugal.
“The Lisbon connection also opens up destinations further afield, in particular those in South America. Manchester has already been working closely with Brazil for example, to promote Soccerex – the world’s international football convention, which has staged its last two European Forums here and its Global Convention in Rio de Janeiro. The increased connectivity now available via TAP Portugal can only help to enhance such business relationships between these destinations.”
Carlos Paneiro, Vice President Sales for TAP Portugal, said: “The United Kingdom is the number one market for Portugal in terms of inbound tourism. Thus, the launch of direct operations between Manchester and Lisbon is very relevant to us as an airline, as Manchester is an important economic and industrial city in the UK, served by an efficient airport with a strong presence of major network carriers and able to accommodate air traffic expansion in the future”
The airline will run six non-stop flights a week offering full services in business and economy class. Early indications show that the new flight has received solid support from the market with a 75% load factor on the first service and approximately 15,000 customers booked over the coming months.
Andrew Harrison, Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, said: “Having TAP Portugal announce a route to Lisbon from Manchester will not only give passengers access to Portugal’s capital city but TAP are also one of the largest carriers of passengers to South America from Europe and that opens even more destinations to our customer base in the North West. This adds another large European capital to our route network and we know it’ll prove popular with passengers from Manchester.”