Another airline will join Logan International Airport’s fleet of international carriers, this one offering nonstop daily flights to Lisbon.
TAP Portugal will begin flying from Logan’s Terminal C on June 11. TAP introductory fares will start at $799 round trip, tax included, the airline said
“It is only fitting that Portugal's oldest airline would want to fly daily between Lisbon and Boston’’ since Massachusetts has one of the nation’s largest populations of residents of Portuguese descent, said Thomas P. Glynn, chief executive of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan.
The new service is a homecoming of sorts for David Neeleman, TAP’s co-owner and founder of JetBlue Airways Corp., which ousted him chief executive in 2007. Neeleman brought JetBlue, now the largest carrier at Logan, to Boston in 2004. TAP also will begin service to Lisbon on July 1 from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, which Neeleman established as JetBlue’s hub.
In addition, TAP will partner with JetBlue, which will provide connections from JFK and Logan for passengers flying to Lisbon on TAP Portugal.
Neeleman said in a statement that it’s “wonderful to be back at JFK and Logan and working with JetBlue again.”
TAP joins a growing list of airlines offering international service from Logan, with nonstop flights to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Logan has added nonstop flights to 30 international destinations since 2006 and now offers service to 51 airports around the world.
Neeleman resigned as JetBlue’s chief executive 2007 under pressure from the board, following a Valentine’s Day ice storm in the Eastern United States that led JetBlue to cancel more than 1,000 flights in five days. Passengers were stranded on runways at JFK for hours, with some waiting on the tarmac as long as 11 hours.
JetBlue later pledged to compensate passengers, at an estimated cost of as much as $30 million. But the fiasco occurred as Congress was preparing to consider a “Passenger Bill of Rights” that would require airlines to let passengers de-plane because of extended runway delays. The final bill, passed in 2012, included requirements that passengers trapped on the runway be given access to food, water, and medical treatment after two hours.
TAP is 45 percent owned by Neeleman’s Atlantic Gateway Consortium. Employees own 5 percent and the Portuguese government owns the remaining 50 percent.
Neeleman is also founder and chief executive of Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras SA, or Azul Airlines in Brazil. (Azul means blue in Portuguese.)
Neeleman announced the new Lisbon flights at Terminal 5 in JFK Airport Monday, joined by JetBlue’s senior vice president of airline planning, Scott Laurence.
Neeleman has another Massachusetts connection. He is a friend of former governor Mitt Romney and supported him during his unsuccessful 2012 presidential bid.