According to António Gomes de Menezes, CEO of Azores based SATA Group, after a net profit of 1.024 million-euros ($1.48 million USD) in 2009, the Azorean airline company reported a loss of 3.5 million-euros ($5 million USD) in 2010, representing deficit of 1.38% of its total income, with an estimated loss of €2.39 euros ($3.45 USD) per passenger.
In an interview to Açoriano Oriental newspaper, based in Ponta Delgada, Menezes said that although the company reported a growth of 10% in seat occupancy in 2010, the increase in revenue was not enough to override the rise in fuel costs, from 34 million-euros ($49 million USD) in 2009, to 47.2 million-euros ($68 million USD) in 2010, resulting in a deficit of 13,2 million-euros ($19 million USD) for the SATA Group.
In addition, SATA Group lost 2 million-euros ($2.9 million USD) resulting from the volcanic ashes incident in 2010, Menezes said.
Another factor contributing for the loss was a decrease in revenue resulting from a decline in seat occupancy for SATA Air Azores flights from the mainland Portugal to the Azores and Madeira, following the sharp drop in consumer confidence due to the looming economic crisis, he said.
SATA Group is a state-owned airline company, under the jurisdiction of the Regional Government of the Azores. The group operates SATA Air Azores and SATA International.
SATA Air Azores is the regional airline based in the Azores. The airline operates a network of destinations across the nine islands of the Azores, Madeira and mainland Portugal. SATA Air Azores has served the Azores for more than 60 years.
SATA International has been connecting New England with the islands of the Azores year-round in the past two-decades. SATA International also operates longer-haul services to a number destinations in Canada and Europe. SATA International is the only commercial airline operating between the United States and the Azores.