SATA requests authorisation to operate flights from Ponta Delgada to London

  • ECO News
  • 24 May 2021

The aim is to ensure a direct link between Ponta Delgada and London. The Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority(ANAC) should pronounce within 60 days.

The Azores airline has requested authorisation to operate a new route. The aim is to ensure a direct link between Ponta Delgada and London.

According to the notice from the Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), published this Monday in the Official Gazette of Portugal, SATA Internacional – Azores Airlines “requested authorisation to operate scheduled air services outside the European Union, on the Ponta Delgada-London-Ponta Delgada route.”

ANAC must decide within 60 days, but whenever it is necessary to request additional clarifications, the time limit stops.

At the end of April, SATA was approved by the European Commission for state support of up to €267.5 million, on the same day that Brussels also announced it was extending its investigation into the airline’s restructuring plan.

The two SATA carriers (SATA Air Açores, which flies within the archipelago, and Azores Airlines) ended the third quarter of 2020 with losses of €61 million, higher than the losses of €38.6 million in the same period of 2019. SATA’s operations in 2020 were strongly conditioned by the pandemic, with the company halting operations for most of the second quarter of the year. However, the Azorean group’s overall losses had already been €53 million in 2019, a figure in line with the figures recorded in 2018.

In February, the chairman of the SATA board of directors revealed that the carrier’s restructuring plan provides for a return to profits in 2023, and showed confidence that from that year onwards the operation would be “sustainable”.