"Azores Airlines will, from June 2024, start flights between Ponta Delgada (Azores) and London (United Kingdom) and Ponta Delgada and Milan (Italy), adding these to the current offer to the European continent," the SATA group said in a statement sent to the Lusa news agency.

According to the source, both London and Milan "are very important source markets": "Milan is an opportunity that has long been identified, given the interest already shown in the Azores. London is a point of confluence of traffic with enormous potential".

With these two operations, Azores Airlines "is providing more choice for passengers living in the Azores, but also new possibilities for connecting traffic, which has increasingly and consistently used Azores Airlines' connections, both to reach North America and Europe", according to Teresa Gonçalves, CEO of Azores Airlines and the SATA Group, quoted in the statement.

The flights between the Azores and London will start on 4 June next year and will take place twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with departures from Ponta Delgada at 07:50 local time (08:50 in Lisbon) and from London at 13:35 local time.

The operation between the Azores and Milan will begin on 5 June and will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays, departing from Ponta Delgada at 07:25 local time (08:25 in Lisbon) and from Milan at 14:20 local time.

The two flights will run until the end of September, says the airline.

Azores Airlines is a company belonging to the SATA group and whose activity consists of regular air transport to and from the Azores archipelago.

The company is part of SATA Holding, which also includes SATA Air Açores, founded in 1941 and which operates flights between the Azorean islands, and SATA Aeródromos, which manages four of the Azores' five airports.

It operates "a regular network of destinations between the Azores and North America, Europe and the archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde".

Azores Airlines is in the process of being privatised, with a minimum of 51% and a maximum of 85% of the company's share capital expected to be sold.

In June 2022, the European Commission approved Portuguese state aid to support the restructuring of the airline to the tune of 453.25 million euros in state loans and guarantees, providing for measures such as a reorganization of the structure and the divestment of a controlling stake (51%).