Europe’s regionals averaged 2.5% passenger growth in 2010

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA), which represents some 70 intra-European airlines, has announced that its reporting members recorded an average 2.5% scheduled passenger growth in 2010, with a highest passenger load factor on record of 66.2%.

ERA says the figures indicate cautious recovery and a managed response to a second tough year. This was despite the effects of the Icelandic volcano eruption and major operational disruption almost a year ago. The unlimited liability imposed on airlines by what the association describes as “the wholly inept Regulation 261/2004” led, in turn, to a massive financial burden for many carriers.

“These figures, and particularly our highest ever passenger load factor of 66.2%, are encouraging. They demonstrate the resilience and flexibility of intra-European airlines to respond swiftly and strategically to changing markets,” remarked ERA director general, Mike Ambrose. “However, while demand may be gradually recovering, yield remains low and European air transport recovery lags behind the rest of the world. The current situation strongly underlines the need for the policies advocated by Commissioner Kallas in the Bruges Declaration (that additional burdens, e.g. taxes on aviation) should be rigorously applied if European carriers are to remain internationally competitive.”

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