The Azores based SATA Airlines is launching its first Airbus 330 flight, operated by Azores Airlines, from Ponta Delgada to Boston, starting Friday, March 25, three times a week, departing from Lisbon and Ponta Delgada.
In addition to Boston, the Azores Airlines will be offering seasonal flights to Providence Green Airport, in Rhode Island, starting June 30 through September 1.
The newly acquired Airbus 330 was officially christened “Ciprião de Figueiredo” in a baptism ceremony held March 23, at the João Paulo II Airport in Ponta Delgada. Portuguese-Canadian pop-singer, Nelly Furtado, served as godmother to the newly dedicated aircraft.
Ciprião de Figueiredo is a distinguished Azorean popular hero recognized for is famous quote, “Rather die free than in peace be subjugated.” The quote was adopted by the people of the Azores as their collective motto.
The ceremony was presided by Vasco Cordeiro, President of the Government of the Azores. At the occasion, President Cordeiro remarked that the symbolism of the event reflects the renewed commitment of the Azorean administration in linking the Azores with the United States (Boston) and Canada (Toronto).
The president of SATA Airlines, Paulo Meneses, said that the event was a “big step” in strengthening operations in North America, home to many thriving communities of Americans and Canadians of Azorean descent.
The Azores Airlines hopes to increase its annual flight capacity to over 50,000 passengers, representing an increase of 40% in the number of seats offered between the United States, Canada and the Azores.
SATA Airlines has operated in the past as SATA International (SATA Express in Canada and Azores Express in the United States) rebranded Azores Airlines in October, 2015.
The Azores Airlines also offers flights to Lisbon, Porto and Algarve (Portugal mainland), and other major European cities including Arlanda, Copenhagen, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, and Munich. Madeira and Gran Canaria are also included.
Originally founded in 1941, by the SATA Group, a private corporation named ‘Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos’ (SATA), in 1980 SATA became state-owned, managed by the Government of the Azores in partnership with TAP Air Portugal.
Most recently, air carrier TAP Air Portugal has announced a new daily non-stop flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Lisbon starting June 11, and a new daily departure from New York’s John F. Kennedy International to Lisbon starting July 1. 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.