4.8% Passenger growth for European Airlines

Airline members of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) have reported average scheduled passenger growth of 4.8% in 2011 compared with 2.5% in 2010. While this figure is encouraging, it must be remembered that the closure of airspace caused by the volcanic ash disruption in April 2010 has created a distortion which has resulted in a somewhat inflated 2011 growth rate.
Load factor in 2011 increased to 66.9% up from 66.4% in 2010, demonstrating that airlines are continuing to utilise capacity efficiently to match demand. However, Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) growth dropped significantly from 7.4% in 2010 to 4.3% in 2011. By contrast, Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs) growth has remained stable with identical growth (4.1%) in 2010 and 2011, while scheduled hours and landings growth have seen a marked increase to 6% (-1.8% in 2010) and 5.2% (-2.6% in 2010) respectively.

Mike Ambrose, director general, ERA said: ERA airlines continue to demonstrate their versatility at adapting to the constantly changing market but we are a long way off from full recovery. More than ever we need Europes regulators and national governments to recognise the power of air transport to drive economic growth and prosperity, and to facilitate the industrys growth rather than weighing it down with further taxes and regulatory burdens.
The key indicators for 2011 are set out in the table below. Further details are published on the ERA website.
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