Whoa: TACV Operates A Leased 767 With Flat Beds Between Praia & Boston (I Think)

This situation just got even cooler, and I have to share an update. Yesterday I wrote about my temptation to fly Azores Airlines to Praia, Cape Verde, via Ponta Delgada, in the Azores.

$800 in business class for a routing like this? How could I not? It’s so pretty!

As I explained in the post, I was initially looking at flying Azores Airlines as a way to position to Frankfurt to fly to Whitehorse on Condor (as one does), but then realized that getting to Frankfurt via Praia isn’t terribly practical.

So then I thought of making this part of a separate trip, and noted that TACV operates a once weekly flight between Praia and Boston. I had written about this flight in 2016, when they operated a once weekly flight between Praia and Providence (which they’ve since changed to Boston).

TACV at the time didn’t have any sort of a premium cabin, and since the focus of this blog is premium cabin travel, I wasn’t terribly excited by it.

On yesterday’s post, johosofat commented the following:

The flight from RAI-PVD switched back to BOS after TACV retired their own 757. The flights are now operated by a wetleased Icelandair 757.

Hmmm, a leased Icelandair 757? Now I was intrigued. At least Icelandair has some sort of a premium cabin on their planes, so I wondered if TACV started selling a premium cabin on their flights.


Icelandair 757 premium cabin

But what I found was actually much more intriguing.

It would appear that this route is currently being operated once weekly by a Boeing 767-300. After doing some research it looks like the plane operating the route is a EuroAtlantic 767 with the registration code CS-TKS. EuroAtlantic is a charter company, and they have several different 767 configurations.

However, this particular 767 isn’t listed on that page, and it appears that this is a 17 year old 767 that used to fly for Kenya Airways. I was expecting the airline would have some ancient recliner seats in business class, but based on the seatmap it looks like seats are actually in a 1-2-1 configuration in business class.

Meanwhile in economy they’re in a very tight 2-4-2 configuration.

That’s odd, because the EuroAtlantic brochure for the plane suggests this plane is in an all economy configuration. However, that brochure is from 2015, and it looks like in 2016 they introduced a refreshed interior on one of their 767s, featuring flat beds in business class. Check out this (dramatic) video they made:

Here’s the relevant screenshot:

It would appear that this EuroAtlantic 767 may have flat beds in business class (unless I’m somehow drawing a completely wrong conclusion — someone correct me if I’m wrong).

So, how much is a ticket? It looks like they charge about $940 one-way in “Comfort.”

They operate this flight on Mondays and Saturdays, while Azores operates their flights to Praia on Fridays and Mondays, so perhaps the best plan is to fly to Praia on Azores Airlines on Saturday on, and then return on Monday on TACV.

You can fly a leased EuroAtlantic 767 with flat beds in business class on a TACV operated route via Praia, while flying in the other direction on Azores Airlines via Ponta Delgada. How cool is that?!?

(Featured image courtesy of Maarten Visser)

Comments

  1. What about Condor? Another time? Maybe go from BOS to YXY and then on Condor to Frankfurt? Intrigued by your plans.

  2. Sadly, the most obscure African island nation, São Tomé and Principe, has business class air service (TAP from Lisbon via Accra) but has no points hotels.

  3. Lucky, take note that when I flew Kenya Airways b767 (some 6 years ago) the business class seats were recliners. Maybe they have been reconfigured or the seatmap is wrong. You don’t want to be stuck in those old recliners.

  4. Take note that when I flew Kenya Airways Boeing 767-300 (6 years ago) the business class seats were recliners. Maybe they have been reconfigured or the seatmap is wrong.

  5. OK, so checking this out further, there should also be non-stop business class flights from Cape Verde (SID) to Las Palmas (LPA), but I cannot find actual availability. It’s supposed to be on Binter Canarias. When you try to book on their site, they always have a business class flight column, but I cannot actually find any dates that are available in that class. Might require a phone call? And guess where you can fly from there — Madeira, and from there back to Ponta Delgada! You can also fly direct from LPA-PDL, but I like the idea of bumming around all these Spanish/Portuguese Atlantic Islands.

    But another route you can take would take you from Cape Verde to Fortaleza, Brazil if you are interested in a more square itinerary. You could route home from there via LATAM (Miami/Orlando).

  6. @Mallthus-I always stay at the Pestana Sao Tome which you could book with Pestana Priority Guest Points.

  7. I’m from Boston and have seen the plane fly into BOS a few times, but I do not go how long they will continue operating it to BOS, because I thought they are planning to acquire some 757s from Icelandair.
    I would love to see a review of the airlines though.

  8. Two intriguing routes departing RAI
    are 1x weekly Svc. VR RAI-REC and
    AT’s 5th Freedom Route RAI-OXB.

    Otherwise to get to Europe, you can always opt for VR SID-CDG or X3 SID-FRA.

  9. @Malthus I used my rewards nights from hotels.com to stay on Principe.
    And on Sao Tome you can get excellent accommodation very cheaply (70-90 euros a night) if you avoid usual crappy hotels in the city such as Omali Lodge or Pestana.

  10. Does anyone have experience with the Praia-Dakar RJ145 nonstop on OrenAir… reliability/safety?

  11. @Tomas

    The “R2” airline that flies DSS-RAI isn’t called orenair. Transair is their real name.
    They use R2 as IATA code for their flights (not sure if they have officially applied for the code) and R2 was before the code of the russian airline orenair.
    That’s why OTA’s/Google/GDS’es still call them orenair.

    Think you can book them by filling in the form on the Senegalese groupe transair website.

  12. Just a thought, if the brochure says it’s an all economy setup, maybe the business class seats are like a euro business class where no one has a seat mate?

  13. @Lucky i think you’d be best off going to Sal. Imo Praia is pretty meh and while there are better islands in cape verde to visit, it may be somewhat challenging and not really worth it, specially if you are just spending a couple of days. While in Sal I saw there was a Hilton there, though I have no first hand experience. If for some reason you’d decide not to stay there, I’d highly recommend you the Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea. While not ultra luxurious, all employees I interacted with were very kind and rates aren’t that high

  14. Oh and not to mention that being in Sal you could fly directly to Frankfurt (yes, in Tui, but I’d much rather fly direct in Y than intra europe J with connections)

  15. I was flying this B767 (CS-TKS) last September from Budapest to Lisbon as TAP flight. Economy class looked the same as in the video. On the videos LOT labels were visible. I haven’t seen business class area, if it was on the plane.

  16. So Lucky, in order to take this back to your original quest (positioning to FRA), why don’t you take the TACV flight out of BOS to RAI, then take Air Azores RAI-PDL-FRA? Both airlines covered.

  17. I flew a EuroAtlantic 777 from OSL-LIS with a technical stop in CPH. Business Class was angled. The cabin was really really dirty and worn down.

  18. I did a reservation in my GDS and tried to select seats.
    It only confirmed A-D-E-H from seats 1-4.
    So that chart has a great chance to be real.

  19. I used to fly the BOS – SAL route when I worked for a charter airline back in 80’s. It was a subservice for TACV. The planes were always 1/2 empty. We used an L-1011 in a 2 class configuration. It was a long flight and we didn’t overnight there. We turned around and flew right back to BOS. The flight deck was double crewed but the FA’s were not. I remember being exhaused when I finally got home. We were catered in BOS for the entire round trip. We only took on a limited amount of beverages and ice in SAL.

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