Regional airlines see growth but concerns remain

Much of the 7.1% growth seen in H1 2011 stems from the ash crisis

Intra-European airlines are seeing signs of recovery, according to figures released by the European Regions Airline Association. But uncertainty about the future in Europe and the EU’s regulatory proposals are serious concerns. Member airlines in the association posted average scheduled passenger growth of 7.1% for H1 2011. Average seat capacity on Europe’s regional airlines is 77, while passenger load factor has risen from 64 to 64.7%. But when the year-on-year growth experienced due to the volcanic ash disruptions of April 2010 are taken away then the underlying scheduled passenger growth is reduced to between 4 and 4.5%.
The airline industry’s stability is under threat from economic uncertainty and a series of regulatory proposals from the European Commission including an “airport package” that will soon suggest changes to rules on slots, ground handling and noise.
[pictured: ERA member Eastern Airways, based in Humberside, UK; courtesy ERA]

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