History

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The Sociedade Açoreana de Estudos Aéreos, Lda. was established on August 21, 1941, in Ponta Delgada and the company’s partners were José Bensaúde, Augusto d’Athaide Corte Real Soares de Albergaria, Albano de Freitas da Silva Oliveira, Augusto Rebelo Arruda and Bensaúde e Companhia Lda., represented by António de Medeiros e Almeida.

Its mission was, as it is today, to serve the people of the Azores, to break their isolation and to shorten the distance between the islands of the archipelago and between the islands and the rest of the world. This was the desire of five illustrious micaelenses (residents of S. Miguel island) that took up the challenge of developing this project at a time when Europe was dealing with the Second World War.

In 1947, the Sociedade de Estudos Aéreos changed its commercial name to Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos Lda. (SATA), since the study that originated its creation was concluded; the Portuguese government had granted to SATA the provisional concession of the air connections between the islands of São Miguel, Santa Maria, and Terceira; the current international conditions that, with the end of the World War, allowed the execution of such endeavor; and the cession, in 1946, of the infrastructure located on Santa Maria to the Portuguese Government for civil exploitation. The partners nominated Dr. Augusto Arruda as the SATA delegate manager; the head office was established on Rua dos Mercadores, 7-11 and the first aircraft was acquired, a Beechcraft UC-45B Expeditor.

The Azores would have its own airline, the oldest airline in the country still in operation and implemented to serve the unity and the economic development of all the people in the Azores.

 

History

 

1941

SATA IS BORN
Named “Sociedade Açoreana de Estudos Aéreos Lda.” (Azorean Society of Air Studies), based in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel island.


 

1947

NEW COMMERCIAL NAME AND FIRST AIRCRAFT
SATA takes the commercial name of “Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos Lda.” (Azorean Society of Air Transportation), and starts operations with a Beechcraft UC-45B Expeditor (CS-TAA), named “Açor”.

Beechcraft CS-TAA

 

1958

SATA HELPS VOLCANO VICTIMS
SATA comes to the aid of victims of the Capelinhos Volcano on Faial, who were relocated to the United States. SATA transports them to Santa Maria and then to Terceira Air Base at Lajes. For this effort, SATA partnered with Pan American Airways, who flew the victims from Lajes to the U.S.


 

1959

PURCHASE OF TWA INFRASTRUCTURE ON SANTA MARIA
With plans to expand its services, SATA acquires the Trans World Airways equipment at Santa Maria Airport. It then merged its land services (workers and equipment) with Pan Am’s at the same airport.


 

1963

SATA TAKES DELIVERY IF ITS FIRST DC-3
SATA’s first DC-3 is acquired from Aer Lingus and starts service immediately.


 

1968

FIRST FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
SATA’s Azorean spirit of service takes off to the skies in 1968, as flights start featuring helpful and friendly attendants.

SATA primeiras Assistentes de Bordo

 

1976

SATA HANDLES THE CONCORDE
The most advanced aircraft in civil aviation, the Concorde, starts service between Paris and NYC via Santa Maria. All ground services are provided by SATA.


 

1977

SATA REACHED THE 1 MILLION MARK
SATA welcomes its one millionth passenger aboard.


 

1987

SATA BECOMES SATA AIR AÇORES
A SATA changes its name to SATA Air Açores and wins a silver medal for service from Mérito Turístico.


 

1989

THE ATP REACHES THE AZORES
SATA acquires its first Bae ATP.

Avro HS 748 CS-TAR

 

1990

CHANGE AND EXPANSION
SATA bids farewell to its Hawker Siddeley HS 748, after two decades of service; joins the International Air Transport Association – IATA and the European Regional Airlines Association – ERA; acquires the offices of Canadian Pacific Airlines in Lisbon; two more ATPs join the fleet.


 

1994

SATA AIR AÇORES WINS THE MEDAL OF HONOR
The International Civil Aviation Organization awards a Medal of Honor to SATA Air Açores for its excellence in service.


 

1995

SATA CONTINUES TO GROW
SATA starts operating international charter flights with Boeing 737-300.

Boeing 737 300 CS-TGP

 

1998

SATA RECEIVES AIR OPERATOR CERTIFICATE
SATA Internacional received its Air Operator Certificate that allows it to operate International routes from the Azores.


 

1999

SATA OPENS NEW ROUTES
SATA Internacional wins the bid to operate the public service routes between Ponta Delgada and Lisbon and Porto and Funchal; starts service with B737s and A310.


 

2000

FLIGHTS TO NORTH AMERICA
SATA starts operating regular flights to the United States and Canada, building a lasting bridge to the Azorean communities in those countries.


 

2005

SATA STARTS AERODROME MANAGEMENT
SATA Group launches SATA Gestão de Aeródromos to manage and maintain four of the nine regional airports in the Azores and the Flores island terminal.


 

2007

SATA INCREASES ITS PRESENCE IN MADEIRA
Adds new equipment to the fleet: 1 Bae ATP and 1 Airbus A310.


 

2009

THE FLEET GETS RENEWED
The first new Bombardier Q200 joins the fleet of SATA Air Açores; the Dornier DO228 is retired; a new Airbus A320 is delivered. SATA now operates Bombardier Q200, Bae ATP, Airbus A320 and Airbus A310 aircraft.


 

2010

SATA AIR AÇORES RECEIVES ITS FIRST Q400 NEXTGEN
SATA Air Açores receives, in Toronto, the new Q400 NextGen in a ceremony held at the Bombardier headquarters.

The airline continues with the full renovation program of its fleet. During the month of March of the same year, SATA Air Açores receives three new Bombardier Q400 NextGen.

De Havilland Q400 CS-TRF

FINAL PHASE OF FLEET RENEWAL
On November 5, the process of renewing SATA Air Açores’ fleet came to an end with the phasing out of the last Bae ATP aircraft, “Flores”, registration CS-TGN.


 

2011

SATA AIR AÇORES AWARDED “2011/2012 BRONZE AIRLINE OF THE YEAR”
SATA Air Açores receives the ERA Bronze Airline of the Year prize. This award, received for the first time in the history of the airline, recognizes the work developed by all its employees following the process of renovation of the British Aerospace ATP fleet and highlights the benefits that the 400.000 passengers annually carried by SATA Air Açores experience and feel travelling on the Bombardier Q200 and Q400 NextGen.

SATA GROUP NATIONAL PIONEER IN THE LAUNCH OF MOBILE CHECK-IN AND MOBILE BOARDING PASS
SATA Group presents one more innovation in the check-in process for SATA Internacional and SATA Air Açores flights.


 

2012

SATA RECEIVES, FOR THE THIRD TIME, THE INTERNATIONAL “AGILITY AWARD”

SATA OPENS THE AERONAUTICAL TRAINING CENTRE OF THE AZORES INSTALLED ON SANTA MARIA ISLAND.

Instalações Centro de Formação Aeronáutica dos Açores

SYSTEMS OF INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT RECEIVE APCER CERTIFICATION
SATA is the first Portuguese airline to obtain this qualification.


 

2013

SATA AWARDED APCER CERTIFICATION
The Quality Management System of SATA Gestão de Aeródromos (Aerodrome Management) was awarded the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). For SATA, obtaining this certification represents a tool which aims at the continuation of a service for all customers based on efficiency, quality and excellence.


 

2014

SATA BRAND AWARDED WITH INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARD
The Platinum A ‘Design Award distinguishes exemplary projects that have reached the level of excellence in design.
SATA has its image based on the graphic element BIA distinguished, a local-bird symbol of the Atlantic sky that represents the union of the nine islands of the Azores.
This competition involved 78 countries, 74 categories and an international jury of 50 design experts.


 

2015

SATA INTERNACIONAL FLIES UNDER THE AZORES AIRLINES BRAND NAME
The airline flies under a new brand name that considers the commercial need to strengthen its positioning over the Azores destination. The word Azores will be a reference in the Azores Airline’s communication.

A321 neo engine

 

2016

AZORES AIRLINES DISTINGUISHED AS ONE OF THE 20 MOST ATTRACTIVE COMPANIES TO WORK IN PORTUGAL.

AZORES AIRLINES RECEIVES AN AIRBUS A330-223, BLESSED WITH THE NAME OF CIPRIÃO DE FIGUEIREDO
The new A330, blessed on March 23rd with the name of Ciprião de Figueiredo, an important historical figure and author of the famous saying: “Rather dying free than living in threatened peace“, adopted as the motto of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, had the internationally recognized Luso-Canadian Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Nelly Furtado, as godmother. The aircraft, which will reinforce the Azores Airlines’ fleet, will assure the North American operation, with a great level of comfort and will reinforce the Azorean airline’s positioning of modernity and innovation.


 

2018

THE FLEET GETS RENEWED
Azores Airlines receives the new Airbus A321 neo and baptizes them with the name of SATA’s first pilot, Marciano Veiga, and Sete Cidades.


 

2019

THE NEW A321LR NEO JOINS THE FLEET
Azores Airlines receives the brand-new Airbus A321LR neo, with the latest technological innovation, more autonomy, and greater energy efficiency.

Magical A321neo LR

 

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