AMONG MANY EXAMPLES THAT WE COULD HIGHLIGHT, LET’S START WITH THIS.
To protect the Archipelago of the Azores, to mitigate risks, to ensure the well-being of all Azoreans, it was decided to gradually stop passenger transport between the islands of the Archipelago and between the Mainland and the Islands. A drastic, necessary measure.
And if the transport of people is no longer a priority, then what could the Azoreans miss most?
The transportation of essential goods, the transportation of hospital supplies, the transportation of force majeure cases, the transportation of medicines, of special cargo.
And what to do when the fleet does not fit the size of the new challenge?
Get to work and do the best you can, before the reality that presents itself.
This is precisely what the SATA Air Açores’ Maintenance and Engineering team have done in recent weeks. Highly specialized technicians are required to carry out any transformation on an aircraft. After all, it’s not about lowering the car’s rear seats. It is much more than that!
As Nuno Rangel, the Maintenance and Engineering Director of SATA Air Açores, says, the conversion process was carried out in record time: “We reinforced our teams so that the aircraft involved could operate in less than 24 hours. At the same time, the need to complete the deep maintenance process that took place in the second Dash Q200 overlapped, so that it could also be able to fly earlier than we had planned. Given the circumstances and with everyone’s readiness, we organized the teams’ shifts, to ensure the continuity of the work, over 24 hours.”
Extraordinary teamwork allowed to increase the capacity of the small Dash Q200 by about 65%. Of the usual 908 kg of cargo availability, it went to 1608 kg. Inside, it had a capacity for 29 passengers. With the restrictions of the moment, and to ensure the recommended social distance, only 11 passengers can board, in cases of force majeure, and as determined by the Regional Health Authority.
With the work completed, it’s time to load.
Cargo transport flights take place every day. A circular operation to serve all the islands of the archipelago. From a commercial point of view, measures were taken so that entrepreneurs, entities, and regular customers can, through a quick contact, see the most urgent, perishable, or indispensable cargo transported for those who need it most at this moment. It is the job of SATA Cargo.
Every day, ground handling traffic technicians ensure that the cargo arrives safely on the nine islands of the Archipelago of the Azores.
It is common to hear that it is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed. It is known how much truth there is in the popular saying. For if there is a positive note to be taken from this emergency situation in which we all find ourselves, is the solidarity with which the land and air services have been articulating, the way partners and customers have adapted and reacted, the way passengers have shown understanding and affection, only reinforcing what we all know: in the Azores, when urgency knocks us at the door, a gigantic wave of solidarity is formed around our extraordinary Archipelago surrounded by so much sea, made of the best that exists in each one of us.
And that, whether seen from the air or the ground, is always beautiful to see!
It is not a shopping list, but it is similar. For example, this is what was carried on March 25 aboard the small Dash Q200, in cargo version, on a trip between the islands of São Miguel and Terceira.