Fly with us over the year of 2022

The reason for our success is our passengers on all our routes. Our partners and our followers. Knowing that, we are always happy to share the best of what the year has left us with those who are part of our journey. The time has come to invite you to fly over the past year.

January |

The start of 2022 came with a few surprises. We were hoping for a much more prosperous start to 2022, but Covid-19 knocked on our door again and travelers stayed at home. Cancellations and withdrawals happened again. We followed the trend, returned to protective procedures, offered flexibility in bookings and cancellations. We flew less than we expected, but we did everything to look further ahead. We bet on commercial campaigns. We invited travelers to plan ahead to take advantage of 30-45% off. And as standing still is not an option, we continued with our transformation plans and continued to focus on improving our air operation.

February |

Traffic remains timid. We continued to improve our punctuality and took our Azorean traditions on board Azores Airlines, offering malassadas on “Dia dos Amigos”, “Dia das Amigas” and, of course, on Carnival Tuesday. We have established new partnerships. We have signed Virtual Interline agreements with Transavia and EasyJet. Therefore, our offer is more visible. We have once again launched a campaign to encourage family travel. Gradually, the pandemic outbreaks stopped, but the pandemic gave way to war in Ukraine. The supply chains gave the signal, the rise in oil prices soon followed. Fear, deprivation, and suffering have given wings to many charity campaigns. We helped with the initiatives and joined in what happened. And because in times of war, a corner in peace is worth more than anything else, we launched promotions to reinforce the attractiveness of a peaceful destination like the Azores. We ended the month attending IATA’s Cabin Ops Safety Conference, to be aware of the best practices in the industry. And so, we come to March.

March |

We flew with legends of the Azores printed on our meal boxes as Spring approached. The stories that time has not erased and yet another way of honoring the destination of which we are also a part of. We told this and other news at the biggest tourism event in Portugal, the Lisbon Travel Market.

We ended the month with the revalidation of the APCER ISO 9001: 2015 certification granted to the Quality System of SATA Gestão de Aeródromos. It is yet another clear recognition of the work carried out by the team that manages four airfields and an terminal in the Azores.

At the end of the month, more precisely on April 21, we marked World Tree Day, with voluntary entry into the first carbon emissions’ compensation program, in partnership with IATA.

It was also in March that we made the first flight on Azores Airlines with 51 kg less paper on board, supported only by the Electronic Flight Bag digital system. We started to fly lighter, print less, consume less fuel, emit less carbon into the atmosphere.

April |

In April, traffic gets busy because of the Easter holidays. And because traditions are still what they used to, we once again offered our traditional chocolate egg on board.

A little later, on April 25, we celebrated Pico Aerodrome’s 40th anniversary. And it was good to remember the generations that passed through the place, which is now one of the infrastructures managed by SATA Gestão de Aeródromos team.

May |

Three commercial novelties happened around this time. The launch of the new app was a response to the need to concentrate all the information that may be of interest to those traveling on our airlines. It’s the SATA Azores Airlines app.

Another partnership was formed in an interline agreement, this time with Air Transat, which made booking flights on Azores Airlines and SATA Air Açores visible and possible for passengers who browse Air Transat’s website. It is another way of advertising our offer and providing easier access to our destinations.

In order to encourage freight forwarders to use dematerialized processes such as electronic waybill, we started a tour of Lisbon and Porto at the end of 2021. With the support of IATA, Champ Cargosysthem and MAEIL,IS Engineering, we took the lead to demonstrate to our partners how important the digital transformation of the activity can be. At the end of the month, we welcomed a delegation of Portuguese-Canadian and Portuguese-American journalists to our headquarters. With the end of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the long-desired meeting with the SATA Group’s Chairman finally took place.

June |

The children who are in the care of Lar da Me de Deus and who flew for the first time on the pretext of a surprise meeting with the Lisbon Oceanarium were given wings on June 1st. On June 4, it was the turn of Escola Básica de Matriz students, who traveled, also for the first time, to the island of Santa Maria. This is how we’ve celebrated International Children’s Day.

It was also time to host the first connections between New York and Ponta Delgada and between New York and Terceira Island, moments marked with the offer of traditional treats on board and an inaugural flight certificate. On June 6, we wanted to celebrate the Autonomous Region of the Azores Day with our passengers. The typical Massa Sovada and Arroz-Doce were a surprise on Azores Airlines domestic flights. On social media, we have chosen to mark the most important dates on the calendar. Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Cabin Crew Day, Pilot Day, Women’s Day, Civil Aviation Day, Happiness Day, among many others. On each of these occasions, and as much as possible, our employees posed for photos and immortalized the moment with their good mood and a presence that enriches us and of which we are all proud.

Internally, it was the month in which the SATA Group’s Restructuring Plan was formally approved by the European Commission. Eagerly awaited news. The presentation of the approved plan to the Parliamentary Leaders was followed by internal and external communication moments because of the interest that the theme has always aroused.

Later in the month, we celebrated with our passengers the 75 years of SATA Air Açores’ commercial activity, with a cake for all those who disembarked from the flight between São Miguel and Santa Maria, in reference to the first connection made by the airline in 1947. For the rest of the day, and on all SATA Air Açores routes, we revived a courtesy gesture from other times and which many passengers remember: the offer of a candy during the flight.

At the end of the month, we recorded a recovery of 57.2% compared to the previous year’s traffic. And the summer had barely begun. Optimism is in the air!

July | 

We did not expect to find such restrictions at the several airports in the post-pandemic period. But reality surpassed imagination. We kept the operation going at a good pace and did not cancel flights, as others. In the Azores, SATA Air Açores reinforced its interisland flights and its cargo transport capacity. Summer was as lively in the air as it was on the ground.

In July we signed another commitment with IATA to carry out an Environmental Management Program for the entire organization. The IEnVa (Environmental Assessment Program) was assumed in its broadest dimension. The environmental sustainability goals will be achieved across the organization. Simultaneous steps were taken by the Governance and Legal Compliance area, which is preparing revisions of some documents that should serve as a guide on sensitive topics such as “Ethics and Conduct, Non-Discrimination and Combating Harassment” or our corporate policies regarding “Human Rights, Diversity and Inclusion”.

August |

In August, we checked what we already suspected. We reached the mark of 1 million passengers carried for SATA Group as a whole. We surpassed pre-pandemic records, which distinguished us in the sector. We have published yet another relevant structuring document: our Sustainability Policy, which becomes a guide for action in the coming years.

At the end of the month, we held the integration ceremony of the new Bombardier Q400 unit in the SATA Air Açores fleet, an aircraft that joined the air operation on August 1, 2022. We will end the most intense summer month preparing for the back to school and with our commercial focus on the approaching low season. We resumed offering an additional allowance for students preparing to go back to school, and extended the same benefit to displaced teachers.

September |

In September, we joined the Aviation Carbon-Free Alliance of the European Union, which aims to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere by 2030 and get rid of them by 2050. It is not a task that can be done alone, so we keep track of all the steps in the field of sustainability.

And because the work to be carried out in favor of environmental sustainability is not limited to controlling carbon emissions, in September we joined the Fly without Fins initiative developed by Sharks Guardian and, a little later, in November, the Transport Taskforce, better known for the Declaration of Buckingham Palace, a project involving United for Wildlife, which seeks collaboration in matters of control and greater vigilance with regard to the illegal trade of wild animals or practices that may compromise the well-being of animals in wildlife.

With winter approaching, we started promotional campaigns for destinations that we know will operate all year round. Paris and New York were some examples.

October |

October 12th will go down in the history of Azores Airlines – and engraved in the memory of many aviation fans. The Ponte de Sor airfield had never seen an Airbus A320 land before. The low pass, landing and take-off were sensational moments. A surprise for those who are passionate about aviation and a delight to the many spotters who have accompanied us over time.

At the same time, in Portugal, the ERA (European Regional Airlines Association) held its first annual post-pandemic meeting. Luís Rodrigues, Chairman of the SATA Group, was one of the guest speakers.

In summer, like winter, we are audited. This time, the month of October was APCER audit time for the Land Operations team. The commitment with which they embraced the challenge earned them public recognition, in the same month, with the attribution of the José Carlos Dâmaso Prize by the Portuguese Quality Agency. (APQ).

We didn’t close the October chapter without having performed the first flight with SAF fuel (Sustainable Aviation Fuel), in a project embraced jointly with Galp, NESTE and Carlyle Aviation. It was another step towards launching us into what will be the future of air travel.

Outside the archipelago, but close to the Azorean emigrant community, Luís Rodrigues participates in meetings held in Toronto and Montreal, to share information about the activity of the airlines that have contributed the most to bringing families and friends back together across the Atlantic.

At the end of the month, we looked again at the calendar of important celebrations to offer the last flight baptism of the year to some users of the Parish and Social Center of Nossa Senhora de Oliveira in Fajã de Cima. The day was marked by the emotions of the flight and the chance to meet, live, who gives life to the television programs that help pass the days. We provided a unique experience, on what was agreed to be the Day of the Elderly. Flying is our job. Offering our wings to those who have never had this luck is much more than that. It is an honor and a privilege. And so, we entered November.

November |

We joined the 25by2025 initiative launched by the IATA (International Air Transport Association). It means that we want to cooperate in the defense of gender diversity in the aviation industry, especially, in access to executive positions and other relevant positions in the aviation sector.

Azores Airlines reaches, for the first time in its history, the mark of 1 million passengers transported in a single year. And that year was 2022. To mark the happy event, Luís Rodrigues, Chairman of the SATA Group, handed over a boarding pass to a destination chosen by the 1-millionth passenger.

December |

Our company was the first Azorean company to join the Grace Association – Responsible Companies, and in December, we were part of the group of founding companies of the Grace Azores Cluster. Furthermore, the process was implemented throughout 2022, aiming to build a cluster of companies that associate in the search for practical solutions for the sustainable growth of the region’s business and industrial fabric. It was also in December that we cooperated with APAVT in carrying out its 47th congress, which brought together, in São Miguel, more than six hundred travel agents from across the country, essential business partners in the development of our activity. It was also in the last month of 2022 that Azores Airlines joined ERA (European Regions Airline Association), a non-profit association that represents and defends the interests of associated European airlines and of which SATA Air Açores has already been a member for many years.

For a better Christmas spirit, we organized, together with SATA stopovers, employee Christmas get-togethers on all the islands, and a tour of meetings with the Chairman of the SATA Group, Luís Rodrigues. We took the opportunity to set up charity initiatives to collect toys and necessary goods to offer to those who need it most.

On land, the efforts of the Marketing and Handling teams at SATA Air Açores came together to make possible the simulated arrival of Santa Claus, who came to surprise boys and girls, aged from 3 to 10, on a visit to Terceira Island, right at the beginning of December.

For passengers who chose Azores Airlines domestic routes on the 24th and 25th of December, we offered the famous Fruit Christmas Cake, a delicacy that is served at the table of many Azorean families.

Airlines have anticipated special campaigns for those who prefer to travel in the quieter months of the year. There were special promotions on flights from New York to Lisbon and Porto; from Toronto to Paris or from Toronto to Lisbon and Porto. Different combinations than usual, intended for those who want to cross the Atlantic and reach Europe or the United States via the Azores.

And so, we close the chapter of 2022. It is then time to express our gratitude to those who have accompanied us on these journeys. Thank you very much. Happy New Year!

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