UK budget carrier EasyJet is to station three Airbus A321neos in Lisbon, in order to operate an expanded network achieved through the acquisition of former TAP Air Portugal slots.
The airline is opening 14 new routes this winter, and increasing frequency on seven others, taking the network from the capital to 30 international and two domestic connections.
It will operate to six more destinations in Spain – Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Valencia, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife South – plus the French cities of Toulouse, Limoges and Marseille.
EasyJet will complement these with services from Lisbon to Birmingham, Zurich, Milan Bergamo, Marrakech and the Portuguese city of Porto Santo.
The carrier says it will be the second-largest airline in Lisbon in terms of capacity.
“Despite the challenging external environment, we’ve never stopped investing in Portugal in the last two years,” says EasyJet’s Portugal country manager, Jose Lopes, pointing out that the carrier opened a new Faro base in 2021,
Its additional A321neos will bring to nine the number of EasyJet aircraft stationed at Lisbon, and take the number in Portugal overall to 19.
EasyJet has been able to expand owing to the release of 18 daily slots previously held by TAP.
TAP’s surrender of the slots was agreed with the European Commission as part of a €2.55 billion financial restructuring package for the Portuguese flag-carrier.
EasyJet subsequently secured the rights to negotiate the slot transfer during an open competition.