SATA Air Açores is a Portuguese airline based in Ponta Delgada in the Azores.
It operates scheduled passenger, cargo and mail services around the Azores.
It provides its own maintenance and handling services and manages four regional airports. Its main base is at João Paulo II Airport, Ponta Delgada. The airline has 545 employees.
SATA Air Açores was founded on August 21, 1941, as „Serviço Açoreano de Transportes Aéreos“ (SATA).
The first SATA flight with a twin-engine Beechcraft occurred between the islands of Santa Maria and São Miguel in June 1947.
The Portuguese government granted temporary concession to the airline, which operated mail, cargo and air passenger services between São Miguel, Terceira and Santa Maria airports.
In 1969, Nordela Airport (which would eventually be rechristened João Paulo II International) in Ponta Delgada (Relva) was inaugurated to civil traffic and became the SATA base of operations. The airport in Horta, Faial was inaugurated on August 24, 1971.
SATA replaced its aging fleet with Hawker Siddeley HS 748 turboprops (1972) with a larger capacity and range, that would fly between the newer airports constructed in all nine islands of the archipelago. By April 1977 the airline had transported 1 million passengers throughout the regional market.
The airline was originally formed as a private company, but by 1980 it was a state-owned company operated by the Regional Government and TAP Air Portugal. It became a signatory of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) charters in 1980 when it became a public company, changing its name to SATA Air Açores.
SATA Air Açores became the major shareholder when OceanAir suspended flying in 1994 and later became the sole owner. On 20 February 1998 this airline was renamed SATA International and started operations on 8 April 1998. SATA International was awarded scheduled routes from Ponta Delgada to Lisbon, Madeira Island and Porto. Today SATA International assures a number of North Atlantic connections such as Faro to Toronto nonstop.
A revitalization program was initiated for SATA Air Açores in the late part of the 2000s to rationalize and upgrade existing aircraft, resulting in a competition between ATR and Bombardier to supply the necessary equipment that would meet the needs of the archipelago. The decision to purchase Bombardier NextGen aircraft was not without controversy.
The SATA Air Açores fleet consists of the following aircraft:
- 2 Bombardier Dash 8Q-200
- 4 Bombardier Dash 8Q-400
Depending on the time and duration of the flight, passengers in SATA Classic (economy class) will be offered a light meal, warm or cold. News publications are offered when entering the aircraft.
All passengers are allowed to transport up to 6 kg in carry-on baggage, which may not exceed 45 cm x 35 cm x 20 cm on SATA Air Açores flights. Adults and children (two years and over) are allowed to transport 20 kilos of checked baggage on inter-island SATA Air Açores flights. Children aged under 2 years may transport 10 kilos of checked baggage, regardless of their destination.
For passengers traveling in SATA Plus Class there is a priority check-in desk, they are permitted to carry an additional 10 kg in baggage, or an additional suitcase. Carry-on luggage permitted is one piece weighing 10kg, of dimensions 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, larger than standard carry-on luggage in Economy Class. Executive Class passengers’ baggage has priority when unloading and at delivery to the baggage claim conveyor belt. SATA Plus passengers will have access to the lounge in all airports where SATA operates regular flights.
SATA offers special ground and in-flight assistance to passengers with special physical needs, difficulties or disabilities. Passengers requiring this service should request it at the time of reservation. This service is free, and applies to:
- Passengers with limited mobility;
- Visually impaired passengers;
- Hearing impaired passengers;
- Elderly passengers;
- Families with young children;
- Children aged over 12 years travelling alone;
- Pregnant passengers without a travel companion.
Frequent Flyer Programme
SATA IMAGINE is the frequent flyer programme of the SATA Group companies that allows its members to obtain miles and exchange them for free flights and other services. Missing miles for a desired prize can be bought by the programme members.
There are three levels (cards) of membership: Bluesky, Silversky and Goldsky. A SilverSky card shall be issued to all members who attain 25.000 status miles (only accrued miles in Grupo SATA flights) in their SATA IMAGINE membership personal account over two years.
The Goldsky card will be offered to all members who perform 100 flights in Grupo SATA during the period of two years, or to the Silversky holders that sum 70.000 status miles (only miles earned in Grupo SATA flights) in the same period of time.
Goldsky members obtain the following benefits (among others):
- Gold level priority when using SATA's Call Center;
- Gold level priority at check-in whenever there is a queue;
- GoldSky member + guest access to the lounges at a range of national and international airports;
- Check-in at Executive Class counters;
- Priority in reclaiming hold baggage;
- Over the class fare paid, additional 10 kg for hold baggage on weight concept schedule SATA flights;
- 40% bonus increase on miles for journeys taken with Grupo SATA carriers; these will count as Bonus Miles;
- GoldSky member and companion award tickets can be changed without being subject to a fee, since that they are made until 24 hours before the flight.
Web check-in is available for all passengers from 48 hours until 1h15 before the flight schedule time of departure.
Passengers can also check in by phone 24 hours before any flight operated by SATA when they have no checked baggage.
This can be done via the Contact Centre at 707 22 7282.
SATA Bombardier Dash8-Q200, called "Graciosa", at the Airport of Horta, Island of Faial, Azores.
Carlos Luis M C da Cruz/Wikimedia Commons
Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400 of SATA Air Acores taking off from Horta Airport, Faial Island, Azores.
Wo st 01/Wikipedia
On the Acores Islands there are SATA Plus lounges in Ponta Delgada, Terceira, Faial and Pico. GoldSky members and a companion have access to all lounges.