Published on : Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Saad Hammad, Chief Executive Officer of Flybe, and Gheorghe Racaru, Director General of Blue Air, have been elected to the board of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), further strengthening its influence, industry expertise and reach. Board members are in Dublin today, 19 January, for ERA’s first board meeting of 2016.
Hammad and Racaru join a committed and cohesive board that is united in representing its members’ interests before Europe’s decision makers on issues that affect their day-to-day business and future profitability in increasingly competitive markets.
Hammad brings extensive executive and non-executive experience from within the airline industry and other sectors to the ERA board. He has in-depth knowledge of restructuring and developing companies and has been key in transforming the fate of Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline. Hammad is keen to contribute to the development of the regional airline agenda across Europe and how best airlines can meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
“Regional aviation across Europe is faced with significant EU regulatory and policy making challenges,” he explains, “and there is strength in numbers. European regional airlines must be allowed to operate on a level playing field against other airlines and, indeed, other modes of travel such as road and rail, which are usually the principal competitors. ERA provides the ideal forum for regional airlines to unite and work together with other stakeholders. I see it as an holistic ‘eco-system’ that can instigate debate and influence policy while remaining within a healthy competitive environment.”
Racaru, the founder of innovative Romanian airline Blue Air, a new generation hybrid carrier with complementary business lines, adds impressive international aviation experience to the board. He advises: “Our industry needs more cohesion from all stake holders to find solutions to the growing concerns and challenges that it faces. ERA is a highly reputable industry association dedicated to the development of European aviation and I am committed to working with the board on behalf of all our members.”
“I am delighted that Saad Hammad and Gheorghe Racaru have been elected to ERA’s board,” says Simon McNamara, Director General of ERA. “They will be of great value at such a critical time in the development of regional aviation in Europe with the new EU aviation strategy ready to be debated. New input and thinking will add to our dynamic board and further enhance ERA’s strong and influential representation before Europe’s decision makers.”