Icelandair in Negotiations to Purchase 49% of Azores Airlines
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The Azores islands are steadily becoming one of the most talked about vacation destinations, but its airline, Azores Airlines, continually struggles financially. However, relief may be coming in the form of Icelandair — the carrier today filed a firm Statement of Interest for purchasing a 49% stake in Azores Airlines. In fact, according to parent company SATA, the Icelandic carrier is the only prequalified party to indicate interest in the capital purchase and thus can move to phase 2 of the purchase process.
Azores Airlines has hefty debts of around $250 million, and thus needs to sell a stake of the airline in order to continue its day-to-day operations. It’s owned by the SATA group, which actually owns two airlines that serve the islands: Azores Airlines, which flies international routes to and from from the Azores on Airbus aircraft, and SATA Air Açores, which operates inter-island flights on Bombardier aircraft. The latter of these airlines is performing fine, and operates a necessary service for the residents (and visitors) of the islands.
While Icelandair has become a household name to travelers in North America, Azores Airlines remains relatively niche — its only long-haul routes to North America are between Ponta Delgada (PDL) and Toronto (YYZ) and Boston (BOS). It’s worth noting, though, that the two carriers have important similarities. Namely, they’re both based in locations that lie between North America and Europe, and attempt to take advantage of the flow of transatlantic passengers using stopovers as an incentive to capture passengers.
Despite the financial difficulties, Azores Airlines recently took delivery of two brand-new Airbus A321neo aircraft to supplement its existing fleet of three Airbus A320s, one A330 (which is currently undergoing maintenance in Brazil) and one A310.
At this point, it’s unclear what (if anything) would change at Azores if Icelandair is successful at purchasing a minority stake in the carrier. But, it seems that the carrier is one step closer to finding a solution to its perennial financial problems. Hopefully, the airline can get its finances in order so that it can provide more service from North America to its trendy island home base.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees