Azores Airlines is now offering seasonal direct flights from Providence Green Airport, in Rhode Island, to Ponta Delgada, Azores, in addition to daily flights from Boston’s Logan Airport.
The airline will fly a 230-seat Airbus 310 jet with two passenger classes, on Thursdays, through September 1. The carrier is considering expanding its Green Airport services into 2017, if the demand is there.
Flights from Providence Green Airport to the Azores were initiated on a charter flight basis in the 1985, operated by SATA International. However, the seasonal service was dropped in 2003 and again in 2008.
The Azores base airline, which operated in the past as SATA International (SATA Express in Canada and Azores Express in the United States), was rebranded Azores Airlines in October, 2015.
The new service will serve the Portuguese-American population in Rhode Island, southern Massachusetts and Connecticut. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 100,000 Rhode Islanders reported to have Portuguese ancestry, the majority of them tracing family roots to the Azores.
Most recently, Lisbon based TAP Air Portugal launched daily non-stop flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Lisbon starting June 11, and a daily departure from New York’s John F. Kennedy International to Lisbon starting July 1.
Although TAP will compete with Azores Airlines on the Boston-Lisbon route, for the time being, the Azores Airlines will remain the only commercial airline providing direct flights between the United States and the Azores.
This is the third international service from Green Airport. Last June, Transportes Aereos de Cabo Verde (TACV) transferred its flights to Cape Verde from Boston’s Logan Airport to Green. Also last June, Condor Airlines initiated seasonal service between Green and Frankfurt, Germany.
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The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.