Both carriers are trying to attract transatlantic traffic by using stopovers as an option for passengers.
Relief may be coming to struggling Azores Airlines in the form of interest by Icelandair in buying a 49% stake, the travel advice site The Points Guy reports.
The Icelandic carrier has filed a firm Statement of Interest to buy the shareholding – and, according to the Azores’ carrier’s parent company SATA Group, it is the only prequalified party to show interest in such a move, allowing it to shift forward to phase 2 of the process.
Azores Airlines has debts of around $250 million and needs cash to continue its day-to-day operations.
SATA Group runs two carriers serving the much sought-after holiday islands: Azores Airlines, which flies international routes on Airbus aircraft – it also recently took delivery of two new A321neos – and SATA Air Açores, which makes inter-island flights on Bombardier planes.
But it is only Azores Airlines that has found itself in serious financial hardship.
One key similarity between Azores Airlines and Icelandair is that both are based in locations between North America and Europe and try to capitalise on the rising flow of transatlantic traffic by using stopovers as an option for passengers. But beyond this, it is unclear at this stage precisely what a deal between them would involve.