The (Virtual) History of Azores Airways Virtual

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Our humble beginings.(virtual history)

In 1951, two former Portuguese Air force pilots who could not find work with the airlines, convinced an investor from the Azores islands, to invest in a DC-3 and form an airline, to provide a daily air link from the Azores to the mainland. In 1953, Azores Airways launched its inaugural flight between Santa Maria Island and Lisbon, with a single DC-3, registration CS-TAA.

(pictured to the right is not the original CS-TAA, original did not wear the EU flag. This CS-TAA is an ex-African Safari Airlines, restored for 50th year of service celebration)
Screen Shot: CS-TAA

Azores Airways Timeline

1954 Inauguration of inter island flights connecting three islands to the mainland link.

1956 Posts first profitable year.

1957 Second aircraft purchased, a Lockheed L1049 Super Connie is purchased for inaugural flight Lisbon-New York via the Azores.

1968 Azores Airways joins the jet age with the purchase of a Sud Aviation Caravels to replace the DC-3 on flights to the mainland. Super Connie retired, flights to New York cease.

1973 DC-9 Acquired for inter island flights, DC-3 retired.

1978 Boeing 727 Acquired, Madeira, Milan, Casablanca added to route network.

1982 First Azores Airways aircraft delivered new, CS-TGL "Salgueiro Maia" and CS-TGM "Reina Santa Isabella" becomes the second, both Lockheed L1011-500s. Azores Airways returns to New York and adds Toronto via Boston and  begins service to Brazil Recife/Forteleza and Rio de Janeiro 

1983 Three more L1011-500 purchased new, CS-TGN "Joao Paulo II, CS-TGO "Sagres", CS-TGP "D. Joao de Castro". Luanda, Maputo, Johannesburg added to route network.

1986 Boeing 737-400 and 747-200 acquired, Faro, Oporto, Madrid, San Francisco. added to route network.

1987 Azores Airways buys Portuguese Airways, forms AZA Corp. parent company of both Azores Airways and Portuguese Airways.

1989 AZA Corp. purchases Boeing 707F, announce new division, Azores Airways Cargo launched. Azores Airways leases ATR 72 and links five more islands to inter island link.

1990 Azores Airways Cargo acquires DC-9 and 727F.

1992 Beechcraft 1900D delivered new, last and final island added to inter island link.

1993 Hanger fire destroys CS-TBC the B707F, Azores Airways Cargo purchases an L1011F to replace the B707F. Maintenance facilities destroyed by fire, facilities moved to Lajes.

1994 ATR 72 switched from Azores to Madeira-Port Santo link, Fokker 70, four BAe RJ-146 leased, for Azores inter island link.

1995 Acquires B757-200, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Berlin and Moscow added to route networks. Azores Airways Cargo leases B747-200F

1996 Azores Airways acquires 3 A320s to replace 737, and one A330. TAP awarded maintenance contract for all AZA Corp. Airbuses. AZA Corp purchases 2 MD-11s one for Azores Airways and one Freighter version for Azores Airways Cargo. Buenos Aires, Caracas, Mexico City,Luanda, Joahanesburg, added to route network, Cancun Charters begin.

2000 Gets a new Livery, purchases a B767-400 options for two more, orders 3 Boeing 747-400 with option for 3 more. Azores Airways begins construction on Santa Maria of Boeing Aircraft Maintenance facilities.

2001 Azores Airways Boeing Aircraft Maintenance facilities completed, CS-TJB "Amailia Rodrigues" delivered new.

2002 Two Boeing 747-400 delivered new, CS-TJD "Lisbon" and CS-TJE "Eusebio". Third 747-400 option converted to a firm order. Flights to Macau and Tokyo added to route network. 

2003 Azores Airways Purchaces B777-200ER, Opens Hub in Macau, adds Sydney, Melbourne, Beijing, Hanoi, Phuket, Singapore and Osaka to route network.

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