A report released today on the 'Social Benefits of Low Fares Airlines in Europe' shows the enormous positive impact low fares airlines (LFAs) are having in regions across Europe.
Jointly commissioned by the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA) and the Forum of European Regional Airports (FARE), the report was prepared by independent economic experts and includes the following highlights:
- 280 airports in regions across Europe have an LFA presence;
- LFAs contribute 1.9 Billion EUR Gross Value Added;
- More than 26,000 direct LFA jobs;
- Over 110,000 airport-related jobs;
- Over 427,700 jobs supported directly or indirectly through LFA activities and 740,000 jobs foreseen by 2014;
- Huge benefits to economies, and in particular regional tourism
- Case studies of the positive impact regional airports have had within their local communities
Commenting on the report today, AER Secretary-General Klaus Klipp said:
'This report shows very concretely how LFAs are supporting economic growth, European cohesion and quality of life for citizens across Europe. Regions - particularly remote areas with smaller airports offering LFA services are providing their citizens with greater job opportunities, tourism potential, and cheaper mobility options to connect them with the rest of Europe.
'Frankfurt Hahn Airport in the Rheinland-Pfalz region (Germany) is a great example of how LFAs can have a huge economic and social impact upon a region. Handling around 20,000 passengers in 1997, Hahn Airport now services 3.7 million passengers (2006) following the arrival of Ryanair in 1999 as well as Iceland Express and Wizz Air in later years. The benefits for citizens of the Rheinland-Pfalz region are obvious: Employment on the Airport site has grown from 600 in 1997 to over 3,150 in 2007, hotels and other businesses in the area are flourishing, and the local community can now take advantage of the Airport's expanding shopping centre and cheap flight options (80% of travellers using the Airport live in the surrounding region).'
Similar examples of LFAs' positive impact upon regional airports and communities can be found in other regions, including Eindhoven (Noord-Brabant region, Netherlands) as well as Girona and Reus (both in Catalunya region, Spain).
The Report on 'Social Benefits of Low Fares Airlines in Europe' is available on AER's website at: http://www.a-e-r.org/top-priority-issues/regional-airports.html
The Assembly of European Regions (AER.eu) is the independent organisation of the regions in wider Europe.
Bringing together more than 260 regions from 33 countries and 14 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional lobbying and co-operation.
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