Let’s fly over 2021?
There is nothing better than starting a new year remembering the best that the year that just ended has left us.
Our achievements, resulting from our work; the joys brought by our passengers; the good things that we left sown, and that we hope to see blossom in 2022.
Take one last “flight” through the year 2021 with us and take the opportunity to discover some news that may have gone unnoticed.
THE YEAR STARTED WELL: TWO FLIGHTS TO DISTANT DESTINATIONS AND TWO RECORDS ACHIEVED
By the hand of Airbus, Azores Airlines saw its achievements recognized twice, in the same year. The airline’s life album marked the Lisbon/Bogotá flight as the longest flight ever flown on an Airbus A321 LR and the flight between Oakland and Terceira Island as the longest distance covered in this equipment. We don’t fly to break records, but when that happens, it’s a source of immense pride for our teams. And if we want to relive the moment, we can always stop by the CFM International website, which honored us with this content.
MORE TECHNOLOGY, BETTER ENVIRONMENT
If you are passionate about aviation, innovation, and concerned about the environment, then you will be pleased to know that in 2021 we completed the implementation of programs based on digital technology and that this has enabled us to achieve greater efficiency and reduce consumption, emissions and resource utilization. Programs such as the Integrated Quality and Safety Management System (a tool used to ensure the management of information related to the safety of the air operation and its compliance); the Forecast Zero Fuel Weight, which allows us to better anticipate the amount of fuel needed for each flight, considering the estimated take-off weight, which is added to the implementation of the Electronic Flight Bag in the Azores Airlines operation which now, as SATA Air Açores, has all the processes related to the flight ensured through a digital platform. We reached the end of the year more efficient and more environmentally friendly.
MORE ATTENTIVE AND ALERT: BEFORE THE TRAFFIC ROSE, WE WERE READY
To prepare for the summer and the greater traffic of passengers, we have implemented a mobile boarding gate at some stopovers that allow us to reinforce the service, plus an additional tool, which guarantees check-in, even when our staff needs to be on the move. The Airport Companion and the Mobile Gate were the novelties of 2021, presented by the SATA Handling service.
COMMITTED TO ACHIEVING GREATER EFFICIENCY AT ALL POINTS OF THE AIR OPERATION
The tool was implemented in 2021 and is called Baggage Reconciliation System. It allows you to quickly identify the luggage to be removed from the hold, whether due to the late arrival of the passenger or for any other reason. There are many details of the air operation that can contribute to providing a more efficient service. And this is another good help to fulfill the punctuality goal we set ourselves.
WE CAN NOW TALK ABOUT PUNCTUALITY!
We continued to improve in this area as well. Before the end of the first semester, there were many days when punctuality registered by both Grupo SATA airlines was 100%. And at the peak of summer, we maintained a 91% punctuality rate. It is fair to say that in 2021 we had more than one reason to celebrate for reaching this milestone.
MORE CHOICE FOR THOSE WHO LIKE TO PLAN IN DETAIL
Until now, we assessed the SATA Azores Airlines website and booked our flights. Now we can choose an increasingly attractive set of services. And if you haven’t followed these changes closely, know that when you book with us, you have access to a range of additional services that you can take advantage of at bargain prices. This means that the purchase of flights in a superior class; access to the Business Class Lounge; the possibility of traveling with an empty seat at your side are suggestions that are now associated with your booking process, without having to be a Frequent Flyer or having purchased a superior class ticket. In short, it is all about following each person’s desire at every moment and, above all, suggesting good opportunities, whenever they come up.
WE WERE MORE COMMUNICATIVE AND CREATED MORE COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
We establish more direct contacts with our passengers, either via telephone, email, or via virtual chat. We send notifications whenever our flight schedules have changed; we created a digital platform that allows us to resolve issues such as refunds or other more complex processes. Finally, and knowing that passengers deserve timely answers to their requests, we created BIA, the virtual assistant that lives on our website and provides prompt answers in real-time.
WE ASKED OUR PASSENGERS WHAT THEY THINK OF OUR SERVICES AND WE IMPROVED THEM
At the end of each flight, we ask our passengers for their opinion about their experience. From 1 to 10 how much would you recommend our airline to a family member or friend? And the answers came up with additional comments. The results have improved over time and with these, increases customer satisfaction. The metric is called NPS (Net Promoting Score) and is often used to evaluate airlines and left us to finish the year with a score above the average of airlines in the rest of the world. There is always room for improvement and there is still a way to go, but, certainly, that we know better what those who choose us to fly expect from us.
WE CONTINUED TO INCREASE CONNECTIVITY IN THE AZORES
We insist on creating more air bridges. The paths leading to the Azores make it possible to reinforce the Archipelago’s connectivity. And that matters. We relaunched the Paris/Ponta Delgada route and had the collaboration of partners who have always flown with us. And it was a very successful mission. The French market was seduced by the archipelago’s charms.
WE CELEBRATED 80 YEARS OF FOUNDATION. OUR LONGEVITY IS A PRECIOUS AND CHERISHED GOOD
The year 2021 was the year in which we celebrated 80 years of foundation. We started by entrusting Grupo SATA’s document collection to those who are competent to classify and preserve it. Thus, we guaranteed its preservation and the possibility of future consultation. We launched a challenge for all our passengers, partners, and friends. As a result of the invitation, we have compiled and published a set of stories that are bringing more color to our collective history. Around the anniversary, we created challenges and animated content with dance, music, and the good mood of our staff.
IN THE SUMMER OF 2021 WE HAVE REACHED A RECORD OF PASSENGERS TRANSPORTED
At the peak of the summer of 2021, on both airlines, we were carrying the same number of passengers as in the pre-pandemic year of 2019. And the growing trend continued until, in October, we were fortunate to experience the best performance ever, with 2,200 more passengers carried than in the best years on record. A positive and unexpected mark, in a year in which a very expressive drop in traffic was once again expected.
WE WELCOMED OUR “PEACEFUL”
The entry of a new aircraft into the service of the airline is always exciting. Exciting because it indicates that a complex and demanding process was successfully concluded, particularly for the operational areas. Also exciting because the first flight of a new plane is always very wonderful to see and photograph. And, as usual, our most passionate spotters were there to record moments that enrich the history of Azores Airlines.
WE HAVE JOINED FREIGHT FORWARDERS TO TALK ABOUT AIR CARGO DIGITIZATION
The transposition of manual processes to digital cargo processing is a step that has a huge impact on the efficiency of the entire cargo transport management process. And that is what those responsible for the area at SATA Cargo came to explain, with the collaboration of specialists from IATA, MAEIL, and CHAMP, who were invited to participate in the meeting. At SATA Air Açores, around 93% of the waybills issued are already in digital format, and at Azores Airlines, 87% of the waybills are processed digitally. In this context, airlines are well-placed to explain to forwarding agents the real benefits that the transition to electronic format has for everyone involved.
WE CELEBRATED WITH OUR PASSENGERS THE BRIGHTEST TIME OF THE YEAR
Onboard and on land, there were several moments of animation created with the sole objective of relaxing and thanking all those who continue to fly with us and who have allowed us to overcome the difficulties during this period that has been so challenging for all those whose work is to provide for everyone who chooses to fly with us.
WE ENDED THE YEAR OPENING PATHS FOR OUR FUTURE
We reassure our commitment to the Azores Archipelago through the Sustainability Charter of the Azores. Through the Charter, it is intended to involve different sectors of activity and society with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We also became associates of Grace, a public utility business association that operates in the areas of Social Responsibility and Sustainability and which is part of the European network of CSR Europe. Finally, we integrated a sustainable development project with ERA – European Association of Regional Airlines. We created conditions for the sustainable development of our airlines to go beyond words and for us to move more quickly from the best intentions to actions.