Athens, Greece / Dortmund, Germany (ots) - Europe's highest
distinction for regional air carriers, the "Gold Award" of the
European Regions Airline Association (ERA), went this year to
Eurowings Luftverkehrs AG. This is the first time a German airline is
honored with the coveted award. Eurowings received this prestigious
honor for its excellent performance in setting up and expanding its
fleet, its financial stability, its economic success and the
outstanding quality of its route network.
On Thursday evening, during the Annual General Assembly of the ERA
in Athens, Friedrich-Wilhelm Weitholz, Chairman of the Board at
Eurowings, accepted the "Airline of the Year 2001/02" Gold award on
behalf of his entire team. "The whole Eurowings team has merited this
award," he said, "and every single member of our staff has
contributed to this success. Last year, we already received the
"Silver Award," but now we regard this year's gold award as the
crowning achievement. It has to be stressed that these have been the
most successful twelve months in our company's history. This award
underlines once again that our policy of opening up new routes and
services to link the various European regions to the continent's
business hubs is the right one."
Furthermore, the Eurowings Chairman said: "We are linking Europe
together. Our mission is to connect regions to the continent's large
captials nonstop. We also regard this award as a vindication of the
strategy behind our fleet. Eurowings has long banked on a strategic
mixture of economical and environmentally friendly turboprops and
state-of-the-art regional jets. This has allowed us to react
extremely flexible to recent developments on the various markets we
are present in."
"While handing over this award to the Eurowings Luftverkehrs AG,
the jury highlighted the company's solid and stable management," said
Mike Ambrose, Director General of ERA. Added to this, the impressive
expansion in the airline's fleet and network of services was also an
important criteria for the jury. Even though Eurowings is now
partner of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the company managed to maintain its
own unique profile within this partnership and the world's leading
airline alliance, the Star Alliance. All this was also a persuasive
argument for honoring the German airline in this manner.
The ERA jury had nine members. Under the leadership of Chairman
Dr. Ton Leyer, the jury members, all of them leading international
aviation journalists, had a total of 18 applications to judge from.
ERA is the representative organization of the regional European air
transport industry. Its members currently include 80 airlines, 41
airports and more than 130 other companies from the aerospace
With a daily traffic volume of up to 330 flights to 58
destinations in 19 countries, Eurowings is one of Europe's largest
regional air carriers. In fiscal 2000, the airline carried around 3.2
million passengers and made record turnover of more than 406
million with operative results of 7.8 million. Since January 1,
2001, Eurowings can also count Deutsche Lufthansa AG among its
shareholders. Lufthansa, one of Europe's leading airlines, presently
holds a 24.9% stake in the Eurowings Luftverkehrs AG, however with an
option to increase this stake to 49%.
Eurowings currently has a fleet of 47 aircraft at its disposal.
With an average age of around six years, it is one of the youngest
fleets in the airline industry and is constantly being updated. The
backbone of the fleet is its 44-seat ATR 42 turboprops and its
68-seat ATR 72s, of which Eurowings presently operates a total of 27.
The jets in the fleet are the 98-seat BAe 146, of which Eurowings
operates ten, and the 142-seat Airbus A319, of which five are
presently in service. Of the fifteen 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 200
regional jets on order and due for delivery by the end of 2003, five
are already in service on Eurowings routes.