TAP Air Portugal is expanding its US network by adding 5X-weekly Lisbon-Chicago O’Hare service starting June 1, 2019and 5X-weekly Washington Dulles service from June 16.

TAP CEO Antonoaldo Neves told ATW earlier that flights to San Francisco are also planned for 2019.

“The US is TAP’s third largest market worldwide and has great potential for further growth,” he said.

TAP is the launch carrier for the Airbus A330-900neo, with 19 of 21 aircraft ordered scheduled for delivery through 2019.

The first A330neo was handed over Nov. 26 and will enter service on Lisbon-Sao Paulo in December.

“We have 10 gateways in Brazil. We believe we can support the same number to the US,” Neves said.

With Washington and Chicago, TAP will operate to seven destinations in North America, including New York JFK, New York Newark, Boston Logan and Miami.

TAP carried more the 14 million passengers in 2017. Neves said the carrier has seen annual growth rates of 10%-15%.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at