2012 was a historic year for members of the European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA), as for the first time they carried more than 200 million passengers, thereby continuing their upward trend year-on-year despite the difficult financial environment.
“These results demonstrate that the low cost business model is not only sustainable, even during difficult economic times, but also provides an attractive and affordable travel option for consumers,” said John Hanlon, Secretary-General of ELFAA.
For the period January-December 2012 ELFAA airlines carried 202.4 million passengers, an increase of 7.2% on the previous year, whilst the load factor remained stable at an average of 83.2%. This means ELFAA airlines flew fuller planes than their competitors, leading to gains in efficiency from both a business and environmental perspective.
Mr Hanlon continued: “These latest figures show ELFAA airlines continuing to thrive, despite the many challenges facing our industry sector, such as ongoing injections of illegal state aid to flagship carriers such as SAS, and the ongoing failure to implement the Single European Sky.”
“These failures impede the further development of the low cost sector, threaten open competition in passenger aviation in Europe, and undermine environmental protectionthrough the enforced circuitous routings of aircraft through a patchwork of national airspace blocs.”
“The number of ELFAA aircraft also grew by 9.4% on the previous year which reflects members’ continued growth as well as new ventures, which certain airlines established in the past year.”
Mr Hanlon concluded: “As one of the most innovative and dynamic business sectors in Europe, it is not surprising that low fares airlines have flourished. ELFAA members are intent on continuing this trend into the future, but to do this we need a regulatory landscape which enables our sector to perform at its potential, remain highly competitive, and continue to provide opportunities for all strata of society to travel affordably by air.”
“A very real threat lies in the proposed partial moratorium on application of EU ETS to all flights other than intra-EU flights. This highly discriminatory proposal will, if adopted, not only distort competition but decimate the environmental effectiveness of EU ETS, 80% of EU aviation missions of CO2 resulting from longhaul flights. ELFAA urges the European Parliament and Council to reject this ill-conceived and damaging proposal.”
Source/ Photo: ELFAA