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Volcanic ash cloud creates distorted figure and future concerns remain

7.1% passenger growth for 1st half of 2011 for European ailrines

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA), which represents some 65 intra-European airlines, has recorded scheduled passenger growth of 7.1% for Jan-June 2011 compared with 2.9% for the same period in 2010. While the volcanic ash disruptions of April 2010 created a somewhat distorted growth figure for the first half of 2011, current indications suggest that intra-…

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA), which represents some 65 intra-European airlines, has recorded scheduled passenger growth of 7.1% for Jan-June 2011 compared with 2.9% for the same period in 2010. While the volcanic ash disruptions of April 2010 created a somewhat distorted growth figure for the first half of 2011, current indications suggest that intra-European airlines are beginning to show signs of recovery from the global economic crisis. However, economic uncertainly in Europe and anticipated Regulatory proposals continue to cloud future prospects.

Average sector distance continues to increase with 629km reported for the period, up from 622km for the same period in 2010. Seating capacity also continues its upward trend, with average seat capacity rising by 1 seat to 77. At the same time, passenger load factor has increased from 64% to 64.7%.

ERA airlines have also recorded a reduction of fuel burn per passenger kilometre, illustrating the use of more fuel efficient aircraft.

Addressing Airline Presidents and media at the ERA General Assembly in Rome this morning, Mike Ambrose, director general said: “Once again intra-European airlines demonstrate that they are resilient, resourceful and required by the citizens of Europe. However, the industry’s stability is threatened by considerable economic uncertainty in Europe compounded by a series of forthcoming regulatory proposals which includes Airport Slots, Emissions Trading, VAT on airfares and even bankruptcy protection for consumers. It is time for Europe’s regulatory bodies to recognise intra-European airlines as economic enablers for Europe and to work with us, not against us, towards common goals on Europe’s economy, mobility, competitiveness and social cohesion.”

The full Jan-Jun 2011 results are published in the October edition of Regional International which is available online here.

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