Transportes Aereos de Cabo Verde (TACV Airlines) has announced a new direct flight from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Amílcar Cabral International Airport on the island of Sal, the main gateway for Cape Verde.
From December 17, 2015, the airline will launch the weekly link to Rotterdam - Europe’s largest cargo port, operating every Thursday, with immediate connections to Sao Vicente, Praia and Boa Vista. This marks the return of regular flights to a destination it previously served on a seasonal basis in the 1990s to serve the large Cabo Verdian community in the Dutch city - limited charters also operated from Praia and S ao Vicente Islandin summer 2010 and winter 2013.
It is the airline’s seventh new destination in three months, and is the first non-stop intercontinental link to Rotterdam. The airline has recently resumed a service to Bissau via Dakar, after suspending the service in April 2012 following a state coup.
According to TACV president, João Pereira Silva, the current domestic occupancy is on average 60 percent, which according to the president indicates that there is an opportunity to stimulate the market with attractive prices and compensating the reach of a large part of the population intending to travel between the islands.
Last month, TACV launched a new service between Cape Verde and Providence, Rhode Island where there is a strong Cape Verde diaspora, replacing its existing link to Boston's Logan International Airport.
“This expansion of international service is good news for consumers, particularly our great Cabo Verdean-American community here in Rhode Island and across New England. This airport is a catalyst for economic development throughout the state. I will continue working to help modernise T. F. Green Airport and extend the runway to attract new tourism, jobs, and business to Rhode Island,” said US Senator Jack Reed, the Ranking Democrat on the Senate.
This summer, the airline also added a new service to Brazil, with a Praia - Recife route, operated by a Boeing 737-400 aircraft, once a week. During the northern winter 2015/16 season, TACV will expand further into Brazil with services to Natal and Joao Pessoa, both once weekly. The Natal route will operate from Ilha do Sal - Fortaleza - Natal - Ilha do Sal, while the Joao Pessoa operation will route from Ilha do Sal - Recife - Joao Pessoa - Ilha do Sal.
The archipelago of Cape Verde is made up of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean, located 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa. It gained independence in 1975, after it was discovered and colonised by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and remains one of Africa’s most stable democratic governments.
The airline has seen a fluctuation in capacity over the past decade, although has increased the number of departure seats by 20.7 percent between 2014 and 2015, thanks to a number of new services.
Lisbon is the strongest market for the airline, followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle, Dakar and Amsterdam. TAVC offers just fewer than 65,000 seats per year to the Portuguese capital, from a number of airports within Cape Verde and Europe.