SATA Azores Airlines has postponed the launch of its route from Stansted to the Azores until next summer amid “unknown criteria” around travel this year.

The airline had planned to commence its schedule from June 3, 2021, with three flights a week to the autonomous Portuguese archipelago.

This has now been suspended with immediate effect.

The airline said: “The decision has been made due to the ongoing travel restrictions surrounding Covid and the unknown criteria for entering continental Europe at this time. SATA plans to begin operations in the summer of 2022.

“All our direct sales offices and travel partners are working hard to ensure that our customers itineraries are protected.

“We will endeavour to ensure that the least disruption is caused by re-routing you to your final destination as close to your departure dates and subject to availability.”

SATA Azores Airlines last operated flights between the UK and the Azores from Gatwick, in 2019.