Posted on: 03 October 2013 by Mark Howells
The 2013 ERA Awards to mark excellence among Europe’s regional airlines have been presented at the Association’s General Assembly with Binter Canarias winning the top honour, the ERA Airline of the Year Gold Award.
The independent panel of judges remarked that Binter Canarias “is an outstanding example of a company showing its true colours in difficult economic conditions. Despite a dramatic economic downturn in its home market, the airline closed 2012 with a considerable profit by successfully entering new markets and embarking on an innovative diversification of its network. A great example of a true trend setter in the airline business.”
The Silver Award went to bmi regional which, the judges said, “has not just withstood challenging market conditions but expanded through a dramatic period of transformation. Its relaunch as a standalone airline was effectively executed in a short timeframe and [the carrier] is now established as a trusted and reliable carrier with a growing network.”
Aer Arann took the Bronze Award for its “remarkable ‘revival’ through a new franchise agreement which has enabled it to attract new investors and raise additional capital. This is indicative of great confidence in the airline’s future and its management capabilities. Its campaign to pull traffic from UK airports to Dublin for US flights has been a clever move,” noted the judging panel.
Budapest Airport picked up the ERA Airport Achievement Award. “The winner has achieved a very fast recovery after the loss of its major carrier,” highlighted the independent judging panel. “Airport management reacted swiftly to create new business opportunities and has succeeded in rebuilding the lost network in less than a year. In addition, passenger service has improved enormously, with departure punctuality being particularly noteworthy. An outstanding achievement!”
The ERA Award for Personal Excellence was presented by the Association’s director general, Simon McNamara to François Debost, deputy VP fleet management, HOP!. “François Debost is renowned for his enthusiasm and technical knowledge within the industry,” commented McNamara. “He has attended ERA’s Advisory Groups since 2002 and was elected vice-chair of ERA’s Operations Group in 2004. Debost’s willingness to assist and advise member colleagues and the Directorate led to his election to chairman of the ERA Operations Group in August 2005 and he is now the longest serving chairman of any group and an invaluable expert to call on.”