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European Regions Airline Association

Awards for Binter Canarias, Olympic Air amd Cimber Sterling

Binter Canarias has been announced the winner of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) Airline of the Year 2010/11 GOLD Award. The carrier has previously won three ERA awards, including the ERA GOLD Award in 2005. Mr Pedro Agustin del Castillo, President of Binter Canarias was presented with the trophy by Mr Filippo Bagnato, CEO of Award sponsor ATR at the ERA annual Awards Dinner yesterday evening at the Catalunya Congress Centre in Barcelona, Spain.

Ôhe SILVER Award went to Greek re-launch carrier Olympic Air, while the BRONZE Award was won by Cimber Sterling of Denmark.

Binter Canarias impressed the judges for its team focus and strong brand – an airline totally in symbiosis with its market. It also won praise for its strong financial situation and remarkable positive growth in spite of the economic crisis in Europe, resulting from a clear business development strategy. Its standardised fleet was regarded as providing great operational and economic benefits. Finally, it was lauded for its innovation, focus on customer service quality, and its effective use of IT including social networks.

Silver winner Olympic Air was commended for having been re-launched by a passionate management team, led by ERA President Antonis Simigdalas, against a backdrop of a troubled past and an extreme economic crisis in Greece. Within two months of starting operations, the airline was operating 190 daily flights. It has also brought its major competitor, Aegean Airlines, to the negotiation table to agree a merger.

Bronze winner, Cimber Sterling, winner of last year’s Silver Award, caught the judges’ attention this year for its securing of an IPO during very challenging market circumstances, gaining new capital to finance its rapid expansion and successful migration. It has achieved impressive ASK and RPK growth while facing tough competition from “low fares” operators. The airline has added 40 new destinations and improved its brand recognition from 38% to 98%. It has also used its new-found size to act in an industry capacity, for example performing test flights during the aftermath of the Icelandic volcano eruption.

London Southend Airport was announced as the winner of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) Airport Achievement Award 2010/11.

Mr Alastair Welch, Managing Director was presented with the trophy by Apolo Ruiz, Sales Territory Director, Spain & Portugal, from Award sponsor, SITA at the Association’s annual General Assembly Awards Dinner in Barcelona.

London Southend Airport, located just North East of the UK capital, won the award for its tremendous achievement of gaining planning permission for a runway extension without the need for a public enquiry. This achievement was deemed by the judges to have fundamental and long lasting effects on air transport in the region, which would greatly enhance the airport’s business and result in increased services for the community when it is completed in 2011.

The judges cited the dedication and determination of the team involved as the key drivers for their success, and applauded their astute approach in seizing the window of opportunity provided by the London 2012 Olympics and the professional execution of their campaign.

London Southend Airport was purchased by The Stobart Group in December 2008. Planning application for an extension to the runway was submitted to Southend Borough Council on 13th October 2009. On Wednesday 20th January 2010, Southend Council’s Development Control Committee passed the runway extension plan by a majority 14 votes to 3.

The ERA Airport Achievement Award aims to recognise an airport achievement which has had a positive impact on intra-European air transport operations, and to promote the importance of airline-airport partnerships. It is judged by a panel of distinguished industry experts from throughout Europe.

The ERA Airline of the Year is judged by an independent panel comprising senior statesmen of the industry and respected representatives of aviation media from a variety of European countries.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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