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ERA gives accolades to members

Aegean Airlines became the third airline to receive the ERA Palme d’Or Honour for sustained excellence at the era2007 Awards Dinner in Athens, Greece on 18th Ocotober 2007. Mr Theodoros Vassilakis, President of Aegean Airlines was presented…

Aegean Airlines became the third airline to receive the ERA Palme d’Or Honour for sustained excellence at the era2007 Awards Dinner in Athens, Greece on 18th Ocotober 2007. Mr Theodoros Vassilakis, President of Aegean Airlines was presented with the trophy by Mike Ambrose, director general of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).

Introduced in 2004, the Palme d’Or is a special distinction designed to recognise sustained excellence over a number of years for ERA airlines and airports. It is separate from the annual Awards Programme, but consideration for eligibility is open only to airlines and airports which have previously entered the Awards. The Palme d’Or can be granted only once and is thus retained in perpetuity by the recipient. Air Nostrum of Spain, Aer Arann of Ireland and London City Airport are the only other holders of the ERA Palme d’Or.

Commenting on their success, Mike Ambrose said: “In four of the last seven years, Aegean Airlines has won an ERA Award. Such continuous outstanding performance fully justifies the distinction conveyed by its Palme d’Or”.

Aegean Airlines enjoys a leading domestic position in Greece with a growing presence in international scheduled routes to destinations in European and neighbouring countries. Aegean Airlines is also a Regional Partner of Lufthansa providing access for its passengers to Lufthansa’s global network. In 2006, Aegean Airlines achieved a turnover of €401 million with pre-tax profits of €34.4 million and carried 4.45m passengers.

Fritz Feitl, senior industry consultant and recent Chair of the Industry Consultation Body which advises the European Commission on the Single European Sky project, was presented with the Director General’s Commendation for Services to the Industry, and in particular for his outstanding work related to the delivery of the Single European Sky.

In presenting the Award, Mike Ambrose commented: “Fritz’s skill and experience, backed by his wide knowledge of the industry made him the ideal person to Chair the European Commission’s Industry Consultation Board for the Single European Sky. His business acumen and his appreciation of the sometimes conflicting concerns of individual stakeholder groups has enabled him to build consensus on key issues affecting the future provision of vital infrastructure.”

Air Nostrum has been announced as the winner of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) Airline of the Year 2007/8 GOLD Award for the fourth time. The Spanish airline which has previously won the Award in 1999, 2001 and 2002, was presented with the trophy at the Association’s annual Awards Dinner yesterday evening in Athens by Mr Stephane Mayer, CEO of Award sponsor ATR.

The Silver Award went to Tyrolean Airways of Austria while the Bronze Award was won by Irish carrier CityJet.

The judges singled out Air Nostrum’s innovative financing arrangement that enabled it to add 10 Bombardier CRJ900s to its fleet within a seven-month period. The satellite navigation trials undertaken as part of the GIANT project also impressed the judges as a project with potentially great operational benefits for the industry.

“Air Nostrum strives for excellence in its operational performance and passenger service through various measures, and is demonstrating true leadership for the advancement of the industry as a whole,” said the judges.

The Award was presented to Air Nostrum CEO, Carlos Bertomeu. The airline carries 5.2m passengers a year on a mixed turboprop and jet fleet of ATR 72, Dash-8, CRJ200 and CRJ900 aircraft.

Silver winner Tyrolean was commended by the judges for its innovative technical and operational achievements as well as for the achievement of a scope clause arrangement with Austrian Airlines, allowing Tyrolean the operation of all aircraft up to 110 seats. CEO Manfred Helldoppler accepted the trophy.

According to the judges, Bronze winner CityJet “has undergone a real revolution within just one year”. A complete fleet rollover and a repositioning of the airline onto London City Airport, sees the carrier firmly placed for future expansion. CEO Geoffrey O’Bryne White received the Award.

Flight International has won the ERA Hank McGonagle Journalism Award 2007/8 for its objective and rational coverage of environmental issues over the last 12 months. The Award was presented to Flight’s Editor, Murdo Morrison.

Commenting on the win, Mike Ambrose, Director General, ERA said: “Environmental issues, more than ever before, comprise some of the biggest challenges facing the aviation industry. Throughout the past 12 months, Flight International has addressed these issues with clarity, accuracy and objectivity, demonstrating the type of journalism that sets a platform for balanced debate.”

The Award was presented to Flight International by Chuck Nugent, GM Small Commercial Engine Operation, GE-Aviation.

Introduced in 2002, this Award is named after Hank McGonagle of GE-Aviation who recognised the important role played by the media in influencing the framework for the development of intra-European air transport. The Award recognises clear and objective journalistic reporting through analysis of strategic issues facing the intra-European air transport industry. The winner is selected by the ERA Directorate.

A proactive and responsible approach to environmental issues, allowing the achievement of a balance between airport growth and care for the environment, has won Munich the Airport Achievement Award 2007/8 from the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).

Peter Trautmann, Chief Operating Officer was presented with the Award by Ilya Gutlin, Regional Vice President, SITA at the ERA General Assembly Awards Dinner in Athens.

Commenting on the win the judges said: “One of the biggest challenges faced by European airports today is how to balance growth in air traffic with a reduction in the environmental impact of air travel. Munich Airport has set clear and well-structured environmental objectives with measurable targets. This balanced approach has enabled Munich Airport to achieve sustainable growth and successfully serve society’s mobility needs while at the same time protecting the environment and preserving natural resources.”

Munich Airport has set a target of cutting CO2 by more than 70,000 tons a year by 2010 through various environmental programs and initiatives. Through the purchase of raw materials from surrounding farms, the airport has already converted 400 diesel airport vehicles to rapeseed oil vehicles, supporting local business and achieving substantial cost savings for the airport. Other environmental initiatives have been undertaken in the areas of aircraft de-icing, hydrogen-powered vehicles (including the world’s first public hydrogen filling station) and continual bio-monitoring of the airport’s impact on the surrounding area.

The ERA Airport Achievement Award is awarded to an airport which can demonstrate an achievement or series of achievements which have a positive impact on intra-European air transport operations. Munich Airport has won this Award twice before, in 2002 and 2005.

Munich Airport handled 30.8m passengers in 2006 and as such is the second largest airport in Germany behind Frankfurt. 34% of all departing passengers at Munich are transfer passengers while 52% of passengers are travelling on business.

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