The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has welcomed Air Antwerp as its newest airline member, bringing the number of member carriers to 51.

The Belgium-based new regional carrier began operating in September this year and currently provides 16 return flights a week from its base to London City Airport, operated with a Fokker 50 turbopop seating up to 50 passengers.

“Air Antwerp is in the early stages of what I’m sure will be a long and successful journey and I believe the airline will benefit greatly from the breadth of knowledge, experience and support our association and its members can provide,” commented ERA director general, Montserrat Barriga. “The Belgian carrier offers excellent connections for business travellers and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

Johan Maertens, CEO of Air Antwerp, said: “We are looking forward to co-operating with ERA and the other member airlines to defend our common interests in our relationship with the regulatory bodies in Europe. And secondly, the association also helps its members to identify and address common industry challenges faced by European regional airlines. These two important elements spurred our decision to join ERA.”

The start-up is co-owned by the Irish regional carrier CityJet, an ERA member, and Dutch flag carrier KLM, the parent company of the ERA member KLM Cityhopper.

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