Two years on from the creation of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the ERA remains worried about that new agency’s cash flow problems. “There has been a failure to establish a mutually supported and agreed-upon business model with national aviation authorities,” said ERA director general Mike Ambrose.
ERA Supplement » ERA 2005
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) will help manage the two-year definition phase of the Sesame Single European Sky implementation program as part of a consortium of companies and industry associations selected as preferred bidder by Eurocontrol.
Traffic recovery continued to accelerate during the first half of the year, according o the latest statistics from the ERA. With data collected from 35 of the group’s 67 member carriers, revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) between January and June of this year increased by 9.9 percent, compared with a growth rate of 5.4 percent in the same period last year.
Accident investigators have determined that Tunisian mechanics replaced a faulty fuel gauge in the ATR 72 that crashed off the northeast coast of Sicily on August 6 with the wrong model, a mistake that apparently led the doomed airplane’s pilots to upload less fuel than they needed to complete their trip from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia.
As the industry gathers in Gothenburg for this year’s general assembly, the ERA will certainly lament the absence of one of its stalwart airline members from Scandinavia–even if its passengers have taken little notice.
Antonov: An-148–The only aircraft program ever launched in the former Soviet Union without direct public funding continues its march toward CIS AP-25 certification, scheduled for next April.
The company that launched the Saab 340 into prominence in Europe will soon bow out of the turboprop flying business altogether, when Swiss International Airlines bids adieu to the last of its 50-seat Saab 2000s this month and embarks on a restructuring of its regional jet fleet that will also banish all nine of the carrier’s Embraer 145s by March.
Switzerland’s long ambulatory regional airline business finally appears headed toward recovery, having registered an increase in passenger boardings for the first time in several years during this year’s first semester.
Throughout the world established airlines struggle to compete against start-up operators employing bare-bones business models or serving niche business markets. Trends in the UK illustrate the problems–and the opportunities–the situation presents British Airways and the likes of lean, young regionals such as Air Southwest and Eastern Airways.
Circumstances have certainly done few favors for the 2005 ERA General Assembly’s hometown airline. From its first day of operation, Gothenburg-based City Airline seemed marked for failure. It flew its first revenue service four years ago, on Sept. 10, 2001, the day before the U.S. terrorist attacks that accelerated the global economic recession already under way.
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