TAP announces new route to Algiers
10 September 2009
TAP will launch a new route to Algiers on 26 November, strengthening its presence in Africa. It will also increase its Casablanca operations to 12 flights per week, along with three flights to Bissau and five to Praia.
As evidence of the region’s growing importance in the company’s network, TAP operations on its African routes grew by 6.7%, with a total of almost 304,000 passengers transported in the first seven months of this year.
One of the nine destinations currently served on this continent, Luanda saw its flights increase to 10 per week over the summer, transporting 98,000 passengers (a rise of 10.4%).
This is a continuation of the company’s investment in African markets, a growing sector of the TAP network at a time when there has been a general drop in demand. The company is seeking to significantly increase its African operations, which will increase from 42 flights per week on 10 September (in 2000, there were only 15) to 51 from 25 October and 54 by the end of the year.
This volume of flights will come into operation on 26 November with the start of a route between Lisbon and a new destination – the tenth – in North Africa: Algiers, with three flights per week. TAP is thus seeking to meet growing demand for direct flights to the capital of Algeria as a result of stronger economic ties between this country and Portugal.
TAP, which currently serves nine destinations in eight African countries, is now adding new impetus to its expansion in this continent. As of 25 October, services to Casablanca will more than double, rising from five to twelve flights per week following the good performance of this route, with 12,400 passengers transported up to July of this year.
TAP has consolidated its operations to Luanda, recently increasing services from one daily flight to ten flights per week (there were only three flights per week in 2000). Other African destinations include Dakar, also with ten flights per week, Sal, with six, Maputo/Johannesburg, with three, another to Maputo and one flight a week to São Tomé.
There are also plans to extend operations in Cape Verde to the island of São Vicente, with direct flights from Lisbon as soon as its airport is certified.
Africa has become a strong focus of investment for TAP, as it is the only market served by the company that has shown sustained growth, reflected in its increasing weight as part of the company’s overall operations. Passenger volumes rose 6.4% in the first seven months of the year, following an increase of 5.8% in this sector last year. As a result, TAP's African routes accounted for 17.2% of revenue during the same period this year, compared to 15.4% of revenue in 2008.