European aviation body charts ‘slow return to growth’

By Phil Davies |04 March 2014 at 08.26 GMT

 

European aviation body charts 'slow return to growth'A slow return to growth for Europe’s regional aviation sector has been signalled by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).

Analysis of data for 2013 shows that the last quarter of the year marked positive changes for the sector in terms of passenger numbers, aircraft movements and numbers of routes.

Although overall numbers of passengers fell by 3.9% compared to 2012, a return to month-on-month passenger growth in September bucked a trend of 18 months of negative growth.

While aircraft movements fell by 2.5% across 2013, the second half saw a return to positive growth in keeping with improved passenger growth performance.

ERA director general Simon McNamara noted that operational efficiency for Europe’s regional operators improved in 2013, with average load factor rising to 71.2% against 69.4% in the previous year.

Airlines also increased their efforts to accommodate passenger demands by offering more routes in 2013 with a rise of 4.2%. The most marked increase in growth in routes was recorded in the final three months of the year.

McNamara said: “Last year’s results show that ERA member airlines are meeting the challenges of these difficult market conditions head on through increased operational flexibility, efficient fleets and a proactive approach to passenger demands.

“The last two years have been extremely testing for our members so to see a modest return to growth at the end of 2013 is encouraging.”

He added: “Now is the time for Europe to support regional operators and regional development by reviewing the regulatory burden and additional costs that are imposed on intra-European carriers.

“Europe lacks a long-term vision when it comes to developing aviation and harnessing its benefits for regional development. With a new Parliament and Commission in 2014 now is the time for action.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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