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Tuesday, November 30, 2021, marked the first-ever nonstop flight between the Portuguese island of Madeira and the U.S.
The Azores Airlines flight from Funchal (FNC) — the island’s capital — to New York (JFK) was also the first-ever transatlantic flight from the island.
The once-weekly seasonal service will operate on Mondays with the following schedule, until it stops on March 23, 2022:
- Depart Madeira 4 p.m. — Arrive New York 6:50 p.m.
- Depart New York 8:50 p.m. — Arrive Madeira 8:05 a.m. (+1)
Hot Tip: Want to visit the African mainland? Check out our guide on the best ways to fly to Africa using points and miles.
Previously known as SATA Internacional, Azores Airlines is a Portuguese airline with its headquarters and hub based in Ponta Delgada (PDL) on the island of São Miguel. It’s a subsidiary of SATA Air Açores and operates the international, long-haul element of the group’s route network.
Azores Airlines’ route network comprises a handful of international destinations, including Boston (BOS), Cape Verde (RAI), Paris (CDG), Praia, and Toronto (YYZ), as well as Lisbon (LIS) and Porto (OPO) on the Portuguese mainland.
The airline’s website mentions other destinations, including Bermuda (BDA), Frankfurt (FRA), and Montréal (YUL) but, according to FlightRadar24 data, these flights aren’t currently in operation.
The carrier operates a tiny fleet of 8 Airbus aircraft: 3 A321neo LR, 2 A321neo, and 3 A320.
Unfortunately, you won’t find lie-flat seats in the airline’s business class cabin. Instead, it’s opted for reclining seats in a 2-2 configuration, similar to what you’ll find in domestic first class on single-aisle aircraft in the U.S.
New Nonstop Destination for New York
Madeira is an autonomous 4-island archipelago belonging to Portugal located just over 400 miles off the west coast of Africa.
It’s an especially popular destination for Brits who are fans of the islands’ year-round sunshine and balmy temperatures, even in the dead of winter.
The rugged coastline, deep blue ocean, stunning beaches, and excellent cuisine make for a perfect off-the-beaten-track European vacation.
It’s great that travel is finally rebounding, and bringing with it the possibility of unique and exciting route launches like this new link between New York and Madeira. Muito obrigado, Azores Airlines!
We certainly hope Americans will like Madeira as much as the Brits do so that this route becomes a successful, year-round option.
Featured Image Credit: Azores Airlines
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