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ERA records low levels of passenger growth

2nd April 2009 - 09:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The European Regions Airline Association (ERA), which represents 60 intra-European airlines, has recorded passenger growth of 0.4% for its airline members in 2008, down from 7.5% in 2007.

Load factors have remained reasonably stable, dropping only 0.5 percentage points to 64.5% (compared with 65% in 2007), indicating that intra-European airlines are cutting capacity to cater for the slump in demand.

While pockets of growth are apparent in some geographic regions in 2008, particularly in some Scandinavian, Baltic and Eastern European states, initial indications for the early part of 2009 show a considerable worsening in demand as the economic crisis begins to cut across this whole sector of aviation.

Speaking at the annual ERA Regional Airline Conference today in Warsaw, ERA director general, Mike Ambrose said: “The effects of the current economic crisis are already severely reducing the economic viability of many airlines.

The industry now calls urgently on Europe’s regulators to avoid introducing inefficient and burdensome requirements and look instead at supporting beneficial projects, such as SESAR, with public funding. We must all work together to ensure aviation continues to contribute to Europe’s overall employment and social goals.”

Regional airlines can play a vital role in helping Europe through the current financial downturn and back into prosperity.

“In the same way in which air transport stakeholders have been forced by current circumstances to reformulate their business plans, regulators should assess their work programmes to identify and dismiss measures that add little or no economic or safety value to the aviation industry,” said Ambrose.

The Shephard News Team


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