Skyport: flights from Azores could lead to regular service
A series of charter flights between Bermuda and the Azores could pave the way for a scheduled service, the president of airport operators Skyport said yesterday.
Aaron Adderley said that Azores Airlines was expected to fly to Bermuda on a regular basis next summer.
He added: “The local charter organisers have done a fantastic job in planting the seeds as a successful charter operation can often be the prelude to regularly scheduled service.
“So we’ll certainly keep an eye out on the flight’s performance to see whether it is something we can build upon.”
Mr Adderley said airport authorities were in talks with the airline – previously known as SATA Internacional – several years ago “to discuss the possible introduction of regularly scheduled service between Bermuda and the Azores”.
He added: “Though the regularly scheduled service has not yet materialised, we are encouraged to see charter flights scheduled for winter 2020 and summer 2021, with in fact, the first charter having operated on the opening day of the new terminal and a second prior to Christmas.
“Both had very strong passenger loads and we are optimistic regarding the next flights scheduled for early January, followed by weekly flights between June and September.”
Industry reports indicated that the flights are expected to run from Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island, one of the three capitals in the autonomous Portuguese chain of islands.
Glenn Jones, the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s interim chief executive officer, said: “We’re aware of this offering and are gathering more details from our air-service development partners to assess the scope of the route’s tourism opportunity from Europe.
“We also welcome the potential benefits such an inter-island connection between Bermuda and the Azores could deliver to our own Bermudian-Portuguese community and families in both destinations.”
A spokesman for SATA Azores Airlines said today that a service between Ponta Delgada and London will start next summer.
The company’s website explained: “Flights between the Azores and the British capital will start on June 3 and continue until September 30.
“The airline has planned three weekly connections, operated on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.”
The spokesman added: “Concerning Bermuda / Ponta Delgada route, SATA Azores Airlines has already accomplished a couple of charter flights between Bermuda and Ponta and intend to do a couple more, in early January.
“For the moment, that’s all the information we can confirm.”
• UPDATE: This article has been updated to include information and a comment from SATA Azores Airlines.