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Europe’s regional airlines return to growth

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Last quarter of 2013 marks positive changes for sector

Europe’s regional aviation sector is slowly returning to growth, according to Simon McNamara, director general of the European Regions Airline Association.

Analysis of data for 2013 shows that the last quarter of the year marked positive changes for the sector, in terms of aircraft movements and passenger and route numbers.

Although the overall numbers of passengers fell by 3.9% in 2013 compared to 2012, a return to month-on-month passenger growth in September bucked a trend of 18 months of negative growth.

While aircraft movements fell by 2.5% across 2013, in keeping with improved passenger growth performance the second half of the year saw a return to positive growth.

In what have been extremely testing economic conditions, McNamara said that operational efficiency for Europe’s regional operators improved in 2013 with average load factor rising to 71.2%, compared to 69.4% in 2012.

Airlines also increased their efforts to accommodate passenger demands by offering more routes in 2013. Figures recorded noted a rise of 4.2% in routes offered with the most marked increase once again recorded in the last quarter.

ERA

[pictured: Simon McNamara; courtesy European Regions Airline Association]

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