|Awards for airBaltic, Cimber Sterling, KLM Cityhopper|
|Written by Lesley Shepherd|
|Friday, 09 October 2009 00:00|
airBaltic has been announced the winner of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) Airline of the Year 2009/10 GOLD Award. It is the first time the carrier has won an ERA Award.
Bertolt Flick, airBaltic's CEO was presented with the trophy by Mr Stéphane Mayer, CEO of Award sponsor ATR at the ERA annual Awards Dinner yesterday evening in Interlaken, Switzerland.
The SILVER Award went to Cimber Sterling of Denmark, while the BRONZE Award was won by KLM Cityhopper, the daughter carrier of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
With incredible foresight, airBaltic has transformed itself from a low cost point-to-point carrier to a network carrier in an effort to combat the economic slowdown, resulting in traffic growth of 29% in 2008 and 8.2% in the first quarter of 2009. The airline has also developed its route network into the CIS and successfully developed Riga as an international hub, thereby increasing the importance of air transport in this region. The airline also scored well on operational performance and customer service. airBaltic cited dedicated, professional organization, crystal clear strategy and focused management as the reasons for its success, coupled with a "boldly go where no-one else wants to go" attitude. The carrier operates a fleet of 10 x B737-500, 8 x B737-300, 2 x B757-200 and 11 x F50. It carried 2.7 million passengers in 2008.
Silver winner Cimber Sterling was commended by the judges for its acquisition of Sterling Airways leading to a complete change of business model and ambitious goals. The Danish carrier has seen explosive growth with 26 new destinations launched since January 2009 and has significantly increased its home market share. President Jørgen Nielsen accepted the Award.
The successful introduction of the Embraer 190, the restructuring of its technical activities, improved ground handling services and a number of other measures to increase efficiency, lower costs and improve passenger satisfaction following its integration with sister airline KLM UK, were among the many achievements that clinched the Bronze prize for KLM Cityhopper. Vincent van Hooff, Director Flight Operations received the trophy.
The ERA Airline of the Year is judged by senior industry experts including past CEOs of European airlines and independent aviation journalists from a variety of European countries.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2009 15:58|