Portuguese American Journal

Travel Alert: SATA Airlines to go on strike – Azores

The Union of Civil Aviation and Airport Workers (SITA-VA) has issued a strike notice at SATA (Sociedade Açoriana de Transportes Aéreos) for the 29, 30, and 31 of August.

The strike is being organized by aircraft maintenance technicians and flight operations officers of the Azorean airline. Reports televised by Antena 1/ Açores revealed these workers are feeling undervalued and underpaid by the company.

The primary objective of this strike, as highlighted by the same source, is to advocate for improved wages for the workers.

According to the trade union secretary, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with the air carrier, resorting to a strike has become necessary to exert pressure for necessary changes.

Antena 1/Açores has reported that professionals within Grupo SATA are currently receiving significantly lower salaries compared to other counterparts in the same field.

Given the company’s human resources department’s unwillingness to address this issue, the strike is a means to draw attention to the need for a change in the company’s approach to its employee working conditions.

It has been reported that SATA Airlines is presently in the process of being sold. This decision was made as part of a corporate restructuring plan for the semi-private SATA Group, which was approved in early December 2022. The Azores Government currently holds a 51% ownership stake in the public-run carrier.

The initial attempt to privatize SATA Airlines, a constituent of the semi-private SATA Group, was initiated in November 2018. During this time, there was a proposal to alienate a majority of the capital of Azores Airlines (also known as SATA Internacional), an affiliate of the SATA Group consortium of airlines responsible for air connections between the archipelago and international destinations.

The SATA Group consortium of airlines, in addition to providing a network of domestic services, also offers international destinations, either seasonally or year-round. These destinations include Boston, New York, and Oakland (United States); Montreal and Toronto (Canada); Lisbon and Porto (Portugal); Ponta Delgada, Terceira, Horta, Pico, Faial, and Santa Maria (Azores); Funchal (Madeira); Paris (France); Frankfurt (Germany); Barcelona (Spain); Bilbao and Gran Canaria (Canary Islands); Hamilton (Bermuda); and Praia (Cape Verde).