Aer Arann, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, received an award for ‘Airline of the Year’ at the European Regional Airlines Association (ERA) annual industry awards ceremony in Salzburg, Austria, on Thursday, 3 October.
The ERA awards, attended by leading European airlines, recognise the importance of regional operations by rewarding the success of regional carriers.
Aer Arann was recognised for the significant achievements the company has made in implementing its plan to grow the airline.
Over the past year, Aer Arann has made significant progress in implementing its ‘new beginning’ strategy, which aims to position Aer Arann among Europe’s top tier of regional airlines.
Their strategy included a financial restructuring of the company, a €144m deal for eight new ATR aircraft, the extension of the franchise agreement with Aer Lingus until 2022, and the addition of Newcastle to the Aer Lingus Regional route network.
The airline has overseen a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in the past 12 months and in the coming weeks is on track to reach its three millionth passenger carried since the beginning of the franchise agreement with Aer Lingus in 2010.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) is the representative trade association for the European aviation industry.
Collecting the Bronze ‘Airline of the Year’ award, Seán Brogan, Interim Chief Executive, Aer Arann said:
‘We are delighted to be selected as an ERA award winner. Our ‘new beginning’ strategy is transforming our airline.
‘The combination of fresh investment, successful restructuring, fleet renewal, new routes, new staff and an extension of our partnership with Aer Lingus is enabling us to grow passenger numbers and set ambitious targets for 2014.
‘We have come a long way in a short time, which is testament to the hard work of the full team of over 350 staff. This award is for them’, Mr Brogan concluded.
Commenting on Aer Arann’s success at the awards, an independent judging panel said:
‘The airline had achieved a remarkable “rebirth” and secured new life through a new franchise agreement. It has been able to attract new investors and raise new capital.
This expresses a confidence in the airline’s future and their management capabilities.
Their campaign to pull traffic from surrounding cities in the UK to the US through a major European hub has been a clever move.’