Direct Link From Miami To Portugal On Runway
By Ashley D. Torres
The first non-stop flights from Miami International Airport to Portugal are to take off this summer on TAP Portugal, making Miami the airline’s second North American destination.
The new direct service is to provide five weekly flights from Miami to Lisbon Portela Airport, a TAP spokesperson confirmed.
Miami joins Newark Liberty International Airport as the only North American destinations for TAP, the leading Portuguese airline and a member of the Star Alliance, which includes Continental Airlines and US Airways. The airline services 64 destinations in 30 countries.
According to the airline, the service comes as more Portuguese travelers show interest in visiting South Florida and Miami continues to grow as a gateway to Europe and Latin America.
Currently, Portuguese tourists don’t rank within top feeder markets to South Florida. However, the non-stop flight may boost Miami and Portugal tourism.
The non-stop service is also expected to capture traffic from Portugal to Latin America. The link could increase passengers who use Miami as a gateway to Latin America and as a result could greatly impact Miami International’s annual passengers, projected at 35 million.
It "opens new markets to have a flight, not just for tourism, but will also have an impact for trade and academia," said Annette Alvarez, executive director of the Miami Council for International Visitors, a nonprofit that creates professional itineraries for delegations visiting the US on State Department exchanges.
The link could also impact the Miami Customs District trade with Portugal, which ranked 84th in total 2009 trade at $32.7 million, according to a WorldCity analysis of US Census data.
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