European Regions Airline Association Director General, Mike Ambrose, stated Europe's smaller airlines need access to European Investment Bank (EIB) funding to ensure their survival over the upcoming European Winter (Reuters, 19-Aug-09). Mr Ambrose added that without additional cash, several more smaller European airlines would go bankrupt in what he called the worst conditions for the industry since "day one of World War Two". ERA, in a submission to the European Commission, stated it was "not requesting any direct subsidies", but access to EIB funds and that development help to address environmental concerns should be considered. According to ERA, approximately 85 airlines have failed worldwide since Jan-2008, with another 20 forecast to cease operations by the end of Apr-2010, of which approximately 40% could be in Europe.
European Regions Airline Association: "If a number of carriers have to endure a poor winter, cash resources are very limited. Regional carriers are in trouble as they have already been parsimonious. They've got [no costs] to cut, so some airlines are going to find it desperately difficult to survive. This is a much bigger crisis than 9/11, but the EC has been very slow to react to it ... What is needed is access to cash, we have asked for European bank funds to be released," Mike Ambrose, Director General Mike Ambrose. Source: Reuters, 19-Aug-09.