The European Regions Airlines Association held its annual awards alongside a gala dinner on Wednesday (11th October).
As it was the first time since the pandemic that the awards had been presented at a live event, the delegates that had attended the event, held alongside the association’s conference and exhibition in the Congress Centre at Innsbruck, were in an ebullient mood. Past President (and the CEO of multiple airlines,) Jan Palmér was presented with a special lifetime achievement award.
Noting that the regional airline business, and the Association, were ‘more serious’ than was the case thirty years prior he described the industry’s recent work as ‘fantastic’.
“We have really got our voice heard in Brussels,” he said. “So I think we have achieved something fantastic”.
The Outstanding Resilience Award went to Ukraine’s Air Urga who for obvious reasons were not present at the event in person, but Oleksandr Halinskyi, Director General of the airline said in a video message that he was ‘deeply honoured and humbled to accept’ the award.
“Over the last few years, we have faced unprecedented challenges, but throughout it all, our commitment to not just surviving, but thriving, has been unwavering. Our vision for the future remains undiminished, and this award is a recognition of our determination in the face of adversity. We are grateful for this acknowledgement of our efforts, and we look forward to continuing to soar to new heights, serving as a symbol of strength and hope for Ukraine.”
On winning Airline of the Year, Jonathan Hinkles, CEO, joked that starting an airline was akin to having a baby, ‘fun to concieve, difficult to deliver’. He added: “Receiving this award is a very much appreciated acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of the entire team at Loganair, all of whom have played a huge part in helping us achieve the results that we have. It’s especially significant given the challenges that the industry has faced in the wake of the pandemic. Building on what we’ve already accomplished in the past year, we’re more passionate than ever about enhancing connectivity in the regional communities that we serve, continuing to develop the services that we offer, and putting sustainability at the forefront of our plans for the future.”
The winners were as follows:
Lifetime Achievement: Jan Palmér
Outstanding Resilience Award: Air Urga
Airline Excellence Award: Sky Express
Sustainable Airline Award: Widerøe
Social Responsibility Airline Award: Air Nostrum
Innovation Airline Award: Sky Express
Airline of the Year Award: Logan Air