Flying the SATA Air Açores A310

The main reason for our short visit to the beautiful Azores was to fly with a SATA Air Açores´ respectively Azores Airlines´ Airbus A310. Three of them are still active and are used for transatlantic flights from Lisbon to Boston or Toronto. Some flights are operated with a short stop at Ponta Delgada, located on the island São Miguel.

In the meantime, SATA had changed the equipment for our flight and we were supposed to fly with their new A330. It had its first flight in November 2008 and was delivered to Azores Airlines in February 2016.

When we checked our itinerary the day before our departure, we couldn´t believe our eyes – they changed it again to an A310!!

The next morning, we left our accommodation quite early and arrived at the airport at the right time to capture the arrival of our aircraft as it was inbound from Boston.

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Sunrise arrival for our A310

Thereafter we passed through security control and waited for boarding in SATA´s lounge – which was actually nothing really special…

Boarding began on time and so we were the first passengers to arrive at our aircraft.

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Two active A310s next to each other

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CS-TKN “Macaronésia” on position 7

Airside boarding in Portugal always seems to be really relaxed. They didn´t care that we stood on the apron for almost 5 minutes, just taking pictures of this beautiful piece of metal!

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The view from the stairs

We had seats 2 A&B in a 2-2-2 business class cabin. Yes, A&B. Normally it would be C instead of B, but what´s normal when you fly an A310?

Although we were up front, the wingview wasn´t too bad.

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Every aircraft type of the SATA fleet is visible: Airbus A310 & A320, Bombardier Dash 8 Q200 & Q400

With 233 passengers on board, pushback started on time and soon we were on our way to runway 12. The engines spooled up and we left the Azores with a nice view of the city of Ponta Delgada.

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Climbing out of Ponta Delgada with Lagoa do Fogo visible

After reaching our cruising altitude of 37000 feet, service commenced and a really tasty breakfast was served.

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Omelette, cake & fruit salad; bread/rolls were served shortly after

The crew was very friendly and attentive! They noticed that we really enjoyed the flight with this old beauty and always smiled at us whenever they passed by.

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Wing view somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

The flight duration was about 1 hour and 45 minutes and so it didn´t take long until we started our descent into Lisbon.

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Approaching Lisbon from the west

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Over Tagus River on the ILS approach for runway 03

After a rather hard touchdown on runway 03 we taxied to our parking stand in the southwestern part of the apron.

When nearly all passengers had disembarked the plane, we had the possibility to take some more pictures of the (almost) empty cabin.

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Business Class

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Economy Class

Thereafter we had to say goodbye to a lovely crew and an even more lovely aircraft!

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The perks of deboarding on a remote stand

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One last picture…

It was a pleasure to fly on the A310 and especially with SATA / Azores Airlines. The crew was so enthusiastic and made this experience unforgettable!

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