I was born 79 years ago, from the dream of extraordinary men who believed, at a time when there were barely any cars in the Azores, that the first step to unite the Azoreans with each other was to give wings to the wish and connect the islands of the Azores by air.
It was 1941 when my birth was registered, but I believe that my existence began to wander in the minds of my founders sometime earlier, being already subject of conversation in the early years of 1900. Anyway, in the 1940s, five pioneers created the Sociedade Açoriana de Estudos Aéreos (“Azorean Society of Air Studies”), later Sociedade Açoriana de Transportes Aéreos (“Azorean Society of Air Transport”), which, due to the registration, became the first Portuguese airline company.
We can imagine that the five founders were joined by other remarkable people who were part of their lives. A dreamer-entrepreneur can be hard to keep up. He sleeps, eats, walks, lives, and tells his dream a thousand times a day. Those around them are, inevitably, influenced. I imagine the long conversations around the dinner table. I picture them walking downtown Ponta Delgada, between the “Mercadores” and the City Gates; it even seems that I see them, on the pretense of getting fresh air, investing in long walks around the emblematic Furnas Lake.
On August 21, 2020, the 79th anniversary of my official registration will be celebrated. And I insist on remembering this date because I owe a lot to my founders. I am not only referring to the fact that they gave me wings to fly, but, above all, for having given us our very own distinctive mission spirit: breaking the isolation of the Archipelago of the Azores, and its inhabitants, is still what drives us.
And now I apologize for the fact that I’ve come to speak on a collective behalf. In truth, I represent a collective, a group of people positively influenced by the stubbornness and persistence of our founders. Today, we continue to be part of those who still feel shivers and a stubborn pride in seeing a SATA plane take off to transport ours and those who are not ours, but who we insist on treating as if they were, while they are on our home.
How much experience and wisdom can be acquired in 79 years? A lot, some will say. Hardly enough, others will. We believe that learning has no limits. In our history, there have been many moments of achievement, success, and recognition. There have also been moments of obstacles, difficulties, and great challenges. We noticed that all were lived with family closeness by our community.
Flying and making others fly with us has been our dream since 1941. Today, it is our reality, which is fulfilled daily with all passion and dedication. And, if we have the privilege of seeing our dream become our work, it is thanks to the passengers who choose us to fly, to the partners who are at our side, to those who fight battles with us, and thanks to you, who have followed us in every step of our history.