Both SATA Group airlines (SATA Air Açores and Azores Airlines) set records for passenger traffic in 2022.
Between the combined airlines, the number of passengers carried jumped to a new record of 1,920,451, which represents a growth of 49.9% in comparison to the previous year of 2021 and of 12.1% in comparison to 2019, the best year ever to date.
The interisland public service airline SATA Air Açores carried a total of 837,236 passengers, 32.2% more than the previous year and 9.2% more than the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
Azores Airlines carried a total of 1,083,215 passengers, which is 67.1% more than the previous year and 14.5% more than in 2019.
Please note that these traffic results were achieved in 2022, a year still negatively affected by Covid-19 in the first quarter, which was overlaid on the impacts of the war in Ukraine and the operational disruptions at several airports in Europe and North America, destinations that are part of Azores Airlines’ network. As a result, the most recent estimates indicate that the number of passengers in 2022 globally will have been between 10% and 15% below 2019, which highlights the strength of SATA Group airlines.
During 2022, the availability and reliability of the fleets were at a high level, which made it possible to comply with the entire operational program. In the summer, a seventh aircraft was added to SATA Air Açores to help with mobility in the Autonomous Region of the Azores (RAA). Despite the increase in supply, the growth in demand allowed an increase in the average annual load factor (an approximation to the ratio between the number of seats available and the number of seats used) by 5ppts on SATA Air Açores to 72% and by 9ppts on Azores Airlines to 75%, compared to the previous year.
Despite the extreme volatility of the markets being the main challenge, SATA Group said it anticipates a slight increase in traffic numbers in 2023 compared to the previous year.