A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A321LR took off from Lisbon for Washington, D.C., on Monday, marking the first-ever service for the narrowbody family on the route. Carrying 14 passengers in business class and 145 in economy, the A321LR departed Lisbon at 4:30 local time and expected to arrive at Washington-Dulles Airport at 8:30 p.m. TAP scheduled the departure of the return flight for 10:40 p.m. and arrival on Tuesday in Lisbon at 10:50 a.m.
TAP says the A321LR lowers costs “tremendously” on the route and eases seasonality issues, making it viable for high-frequency service into the lower-demand winter months.
“The aircraft...lowers our trip costs on the route by about 50 percent,” said TAP executive president Antonoaldo Neves. “The reach and flexibility of this aircraft allow us to increase our connections between the U.S. and Portugal, as we’ve done from Porto to Newark and now between Lisbon and Washington-Dulles.”
TAP’s Washington flights now operate five days per week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday) but plans call for daily service to start next June 20.
TAP lays claim as the only airline in the world to operate each of the three Airbus A320neo-family jets so far introduced. Schedules show delivery of 71 aircraft through 2025, including 19 A320neos, 17 A321neos, and 14 A321LRs.