Both airlines operate, among other types of aircraft, fleets of BAE Systems-built 29-seat Jetstream 41 turboprop aircraft which form an important part of their scheduled service networks.
The Jetstream 41 made it first flight from Prestwick on 25 September 1991 and 100 aircraft were built before production ceased in 1997. Most of the aircraft remain in service with airlines and other operators across the world and BAE Systems Regional Aircraft at Prestwick provides comprehensive on-going engineering and product support for the aircraft.
John Stevens, Head of Product Support for BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, who was at the Awards ceremony said today: “These prestigious awards, which have been recognised as the most important in the European regional aviation market since 1991, are a testimony to the continued excellence of airline operators flying in one of the most demanding and competitive sectors. The fact that both these operators fly our Jetstream 41, 22 years after its first flight last week, underlines the continued effectiveness of this aircraft, its strong performance in the market and the value of our support services.”
Based at Humberside Airport Eastern Airways has been operating scheduled flights since 1997 and provides a network of services across 17 airports in the UK, Norway and France. The airline is the world’s biggest operator of the Jetstream 41 with a fleet of 17 aircraft.
The airline celebrates its 17th anniversary this year and is Europe’s leading provider of fixed wing air services for the oil and gas industry. It operates over 800 flights a week, has more flights from Aberdeen than any other carrier and previously gained the most prestigious gold award in this industry sector in 2006/7, following consecutive silver awards in 2003/4 and 2004/5.
Richard Lake, Chief Executive of Eastern Group, said: “It is a great honour to again win the prestigious gold award, which is testament to the efforts and professionalism of every member of the team at Eastern Airways. To be recognised by our peers in the industry is tremendous as regional aviation is one of the most challenging and competitive sectors in the world. We must also thank our customers and trade partners who have continually supported us throughout our many years of operation.”
Heraklion-based Sky Express was established in 2005 and operates Greek domestic flights covering more than 24 destinations, mostly centred on serving the Aegean islands. Its fleet of four aircraft includes three Jetstream 41 aircraft.
Mr Agamemnon Kikerakis, Chairman and CEO of Sky Express, who accepted the silver award, thanked everyone who has been involved in the success of Sky Express especially during the recent management transition of the airline and he offered particular thanks to the passengers of Sky Express for their continued support.
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