75 years uniting what the sea separates

On June 15, 1947, SATA’s first commercial flight took off from the island of São Miguel to the island of Santa Maria, in a Beechcraft UC-45B Expeditor aircraft, led by Captain Marciano Veiga.

The official opening ceremony was held on Santana airfield at 4:00 pm. The aircraft parking space at the aerodrome was decorated for the occasion. More than three hundred guests were present, including members of the government, regional politicians, civil and military authorities, representatives of international airlines with offices in the Azores, and representatives of national and local media.

The Beechcraft “Açor”, a light 6-to-7-passenger twin-engine aircraft with a low wing, was officially blessed by Reverend José Gomes, and the grandchild of Dr. Augusto Arruda, then CEO of the Company and one of its founders, Ana Isabel, was the godmother.

This was the beginning of SATA’s operational and commercial activity. Air travel in the archipelago thus became a reality: the islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria became a 30-minute flight away, an alternative to the until then six-hour sea journey which separated the two islands. With the start of commercial flights between the archipelago’s only airports at the time (Santa Maria, São Miguel, and Terceira), the fundamental and decisive step was taken to transform SATA into a changing tool at the service of the Azores.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first commercial flight, we have prepared some gestures on land and in the air for passengers who chose to fly with us on this very special day. On board SATA Air Açores, the crew’s communications are alluding to the date and candy is distributed on all flights, recalling an 80’s practice. On land, passengers that arrived in Santa Maria on the first flight of the day were presented with a symbolic anniversary cake.

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