Loftleidir Icelandic emerged as the only qualified potential buyer for a 49% stake in Azores Airlines, following an EOI issued by the Portuguese carrier's parent, Grupo SATA. Loftleidir is a subsidiary of Icelandair Group.

Loftleidir has only been pre-qualified company as this time, i.e., it has the financial capacity and managerial experience to participate in the sale.

The are still three more phases for the Icelandic carrier to complete before the sale is final. The second stage of submission of binding proposals, and third stage is the evaluation and negotiation of those proposals.

A final decision will be issued thereafter.

Azores Airlines is saddled with debts of approx. US$250 million.