SATA International, the Azorean airline, has taken delivery of the first of two new A320 aircraft, which will be deployed on key European routes primarily to Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, London and Madrid. These two new CFM powered aircraft will replace older B737s, operating alongside an A320 that was introduced in the SATA fleet last year and thus further supporting the expansion strategy put into operation by SATA International in recent years. Each of the Airbus A320s will seat 165 passengers as well as being equipped with convertible seats that can be adjusted to the needs of each route. The second new A320 aircraft will be delivered next month.

“The quality of the aircraft and the equipment has been tried and tested. SATA International is convinced that the renewal of our fleet with this new A320 aircraft will not only provide increased passenger comfort, but also competitive advantages over a medium to long term period, due to the proven cost efficiency of this aircraft type”, says Manuel Cansado, Chairman of the group.

SATA International has been a very loyal customer to Airbus since they put into service their first A310-300s in 1999, later followed by two more aircraft of the same type. SATA International is currently operating 3 A310-300s and 1 A320 that entered into service in 2004 and will become an all Airbus customer upon the full renewal of their fleet.

“We understand that SATA International wants to be the bridge between continents as well as shorten the distances between Europe and the Americas with its own Azorean personality. They have concentrated on building and delivering a young and efficient fleet that allows them to secure their strategy. We are very proud that SATA International has chosen the A320 aircraft to support their strategy,” says Airbus President and CEO Noël Forgeard.

Airbus’ A320 Family features the newest and most modern design of any single-aisle airliner, with a passenger-pleasing cabin that is popular with travellers - as independent surveys demonstrate. An advanced fuel-saving aerodynamic design, including wingtip fences, centralised maintenance with extended servicing intervals, and proven reliability in day-to-day service help to give it the lowest running costs.

All of the Airbus A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, feature the same type-rating for pilots and comprehensive commonality, delivering important cost-savings in training and unmatched operational flexibility.

Airbus’ A320 Family is the most successful aircraft family in the world, having been chosen by more than 180 customers and operators around the world, including many in Europe both traditional and low cost carriers. Firm orders for the Airbus A320 Family stand at some 3,400 aircraft, more than 2,300 of which have been delivered to date.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.