Last night, several ERA members celebrated their success as part of the annual ERA Awards. The winners were announced at a formal event in the south of France.
Spanish airline Air Nostrum was declared the winner of the prestigious ERA Airline of the Year Gold Award. An exceptional and impressive airline that has turned its fortunes around from a threatening crisis to a glittering star. The airline is determined to be a true survivor within the aviation industry and was congratulated on its strategic performance and ambassadorial status.
With a multitude of positive parameters, this airline is a constant performer and has an impressive achievement of significantly growing in all key areas of activity which led to not only a significant increase in turnover, but more importantly to a disproportionately high increase in profits.
“The Air Nostrum family is very proud to receive this year’s ERA Airline of the Year Gold Award. This award represents the acknowledgment of not only the 1,500 people who make up Air Nostrum, but also those who have business relationships with us: manufacturers, lessors, financiers, technical and maintenance service companies, customers, etc. We truly are a great family.” Air Nostrum President, Carlos Bertomeu, said.
“We feel, at Air Nostrum, as enthusiastic as we did at the beginning of this adventure and shall continue to use the same impetus for the next 100 years. We shall also continue to work hard to become more and more cost efficient, while maintaining our quality excellence. We shall take an active part in the consolidation process of the sector which will undoubtedly come about since the economy of scale and size are two of the few levers regional airlines have left to continue gaining efficiency.”
ASL Airlines Ireland won the ERA Airline of the Year Silver Award for successfully managing and delivering diverse growth and efficiency projects on a major scale, across significantly displaced geographical environments, with differing regulatory regimes and customer requirements. With a clearly growth-focussed organisation, and a dedicated team of staff, this airline has mastered the delivery of large-scale strategic projects. The airline was praised for having taken on new initiatives and challenges, taking them forward to achieve great success.
John Rawl, CEO of ASL Airlines Ireland, said “This is great recognition for the team at ASL Airlines Ireland and I am delighted that their dedication and professionalism has been acknowledged and honoured with the ERA Silver Airline of the Year Award. In Dublin, Shannon, all of our many bases around Europe and our Hong Kong base, we strive to give our customers the best service possible, 24/7, 365 days a year, founded on core values such as safety, reliability and quality.”
Avion Express was this year’s winner of the ERA Airline of the Year Bronze Award, for proving itself to be a stable and determined company delivering creative solutions to diversify itself. A focussed, measured and diverse business with strategic growth in mind, coupled with delivering fundamental efficiencies, the airline was acknowledged for having achieved great things.
Darius Kajokas, Avion Express CEO, said: “Being acknowledged with such a prestigious award is a great honour for us. Avion Express’ team has worked hard for over 10 years developing the company as a reliable ACMI operator. In 2019 we have achieved great results, including our largest fleet in the history of the company and establishment of a subsidiary airline in Malta. Receiving the Airline of the Year Bronze Award shows that Avion Express is moving in the right direction.“
Airlines were not the only winners of the night, with Aarhus Airport taking home the ERA Airport of the Year Award. Aarhus Airport, based in Denmark, demonstrated a significant commercial and operational turnaround, expanding its destinations and increasing its passenger numbers. It completed a major task to change the airport’s structure to a more dynamic commercial business model and has actively engaged with local partners together with modernising its airport facilities to be more appropriate to airlines and passengers.
Peer Kristensen, Aarhus CEO, said: “We are completely thrilled with this award from ERA, it is highly-appreciated recognition of the work we have done and continue to strive at, in turning our airport around and delivering the very best service to the city of Aarhus, our passengers, airline customers and stakeholders. Our 2018 growth achievement made us Scandinavia’s fastest-growing airport and that’s an achievement accredited to all our staff in every department; and we continue to grow, having just unveiled 15 per cent capacity growth by SAS for 2020.”
Finally, each year an individual from one of ERA’s member companies is recognised for their personal contribution to the industry with the ERA Personal Excellence Award. This year’s winner was ERA Vice President Martin Isler from Luxair who throughout his extensive aviation career has worked in virtually every aspect of the airline business. In addition, he has been a dedicated member of the ERA Board for 10 years and is one of the most respected leaders within our sector, industry and association.
Congratulating all the winners, ERA Director General, Montserrat Barriga, said: “The ERA Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the association’s members, specifically those who have gone above and beyond and accomplished great things over the past year. I cannot congratulate our 2019 winners enough for their contributions to the European aviation industry; they should all be very proud of their respective success.”
ERA President Andrew Kelly added: “These are difficult times for our member airlines as we face rising fuel prices, Brexit, climate change challenges and EU261; and yet all of our winners have performed to the highest degree of excellence over the past year. No matter how difficult the economic, political or regulatory environments, it is clear from the achievements of our winners that ERA members continue to provide airline and aviation services at the highest levels of safety and quality. That is the lifeblood of regions and communities throughout the greater European area.”