The Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr. Ernest Peets offered the following regarding the new direct air service between Bermuda and the Azores.
The public will be aware that on June 13, SATA Azores Airlines is launching the greatly anticipated air service between what could be considered two of the most remote islands in the North Atlantic.
The once weekly flight according to Minister Peets is “quite significant” for cultural reasons. The Minister notes that the Azores has a burgeoning and vibrant arts and creative scene that could see collaborations with Bermuda with the introduction of the new flight. However, it’s the historical familial and ancestral ties that the Minister highlighted with the introduction of the new flight.
Minister Peets said, “This new flight is a tremendously exciting development. The Government of Bermuda, Ministry of Transport and Azorean Government have been working tirelessly to make this direct flight a reality. In that regard I wish to commend all involved for their perseverance in seeing this through.
“This is a significant milestone for Bermuda, particularly from a cultural and heritage standpoint. While we’ve had various charter flights to the Azores over the years, this is the first time we’ve had a dedicated direct flight. As such this truly solidifies the ties between Bermuda and Azores.
“I have always maintained that Bermuda’s Portuguese community’s countless contributions have helped to shape our island into what it is today.
“For nearly two centuries, these vibrant customs, unique traditions, distinct language and fascinating personal histories have been woven into Bermuda’s story.
“So this Azorean flight is worthy of celebration as it helps to reinforce our shared cultural commonalities. The possibilities of this new air service are unlimited. It means that, Covid-safety permitting, our Portuguese and Portuguese-Bermudian residents can visit Azores more frequently; it means that we now have a direct link to a new vibrant, picturesque destination; and it means that this route will serve as an important gateway for European visitors who wish to travel to Bermuda.
“Ultimately our hope is that this air route expands in the years to come continuing to transcend all barriers, thus strengthening our connections with the Azores and our Portuguese family and friends.”
Regarding the new flight, a representative of the Portuguese Cultural Association and Vasco da Gama Club was pleased to add, “The launch of the direct flight is certainly significant for us and other Portuguese people in Bermuda. It is another example of shrinking the distance that separates communities. It brings us closer to our roots.
“Overall, it is a great option for Portuguese people in Bermuda looking to quickly travel home, and it provides an opportunity for Bermudian Residents to visit another beautiful island which has many ties to Bermuda.
“Many of us still have family members in the Azores, and we can strengthen familial ties given the ease of traveling between the two island communities. Of course, it is not just a question of visiting the Azores but also having our family and friends visiting us in Bermuda.”
And Andrea Moniz-DeSouza, Honorary Consul of Portugal in Bermuda and President of Casa dos Acores da Bermuda Charity said, “Our community is ecstatic with the development of this partnership between the Government of Bermuda, Azores Airlines and the Regional Government of the Azores. Having a direct flight between Bermuda and the Azores has been a dream of many people in our community for many years. This is only a first step in the development of a wonderful and beneficial relationship between our two Governments, and one which will bring so many possibilities and benefits to the Bermuda community at large.”
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