SATA Azores airline recovering significantly

  • Lusa
  • 14 March 2023

Although SATA's accounts for 2022 have not yet been closed, Gonçalves said that the company's net profit "will be better than that" recorded in previous years.

The new chairwoman of the SATA Azores airline company, Teresa Mafalda Gonçalves, has guaranteed at a parliamentary hearing in the Azores that the company is “recovering” and will show “significant growth” in the 2022 accounts.

“It is not a recovery that can be seen overnight,” explained the Azorean airline’s director, during a hearing before the regional parliament’s economy committee in Ponta Delgada on Monday, stressing that, even so, the company’s financial results indicate a “very significant growth in terms of revenues”.

Gonçalves, who took over from Luís Rodrigues, who moved to the TAP board at the invitation of the Portuguese government, said that the SATA Group’s financial results for last year were not yet finalised and therefore she did not want to reveal the figures to members of parliament.

“I cannot yet reveal the 2022 figures, because they are not yet closed, but we expect a very significant growth in terms of revenues, we expect a very significant growth in terms of EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation] and in terms of net results, we are still making the final adjustments,” the director said.

Although SATA’s accounts for 2022 have not yet been closed, Gonçalves said that the company’s net profit “will be better than that” recorded in previous years.

The new president of SATA, who previously held management roles at the regional air carrier, also said she had positive expectations, regarding the growth of the SATA Group in 2023.

“It is also expected to have revenue growth in 2023. The growth in revenues is highly satisfactory,” she said, noting that the company’s ticket bookings had risen by around 40%.

Teresa Gonçalves also said that the process of privatisation of Azores Air Lines (which provides for the sale of 51% to 85% of the company’s share capital) “is on the right track” and that “it has everything to go well”.

“There are interested parties in the privatisation of Azores Airlines,” said the director, recalling that, soon after the public tender is launched, potential buyers “will have 90 days to submit proposals,” in a process that, despite everything, will be “lengthy” and should only be concluded at the end of the year.

Teresa Gonçalves also guaranteed to be “inside everything” within the company and to be motivated for the new duties for which she has now been appointed, but recalled that the success of the SATA Group depends much more on the company’s workers than on its directors.

On Tuesday, the head of the Azores regional government, social democrat José Manuel Bolieiro, announced that he had invited Teresa Gonçalves, until now financial director of the Azorean airline, to lead the company.

According to José Manuel Bolieiro, the executive has defined “a profile of continuity” in the privatisation process of SATA Internacional – Azores Airlines.

On Monday, the government revealed that the current chairman of SATA would lead TAP, following the resignation of the chairman of the board of directors and chief executive of TAP, Manuel Beja and Christine Ourmières-Widener, respectively.