Clare man is new President of European Regions Airline Association

Clare man is new President of European Regions Airline Association

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Andrew Kelly from Shannon is the new President of the European Regions Airline Association – Photo: David O’Shea

A Co Clare man has been elected President of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) which represents 53 carriers, 22 airports (including Shannon) and 124 aviation companies comprising aircraft and aircraft engine manufacturers.

Former RTÉ news reporter Andrew Kelly from Shannon will serve a four year term as President of the aviation trade association.

The ERA represents and lobbies for the interests of its members with all of Europe’s major regulatory bodies, including the European parliament, the European Commission, national governments and regulatory authorities. A major aim of the ERA is to raise the profile and importance of its members in the economic and social development of Europe.

Mr Kelly, who is Director Corporate Affairs for ASL Aviation Group, has taken over as President from Boet Kreiken, Chief Executive of KLM Cityhopper and KLM Amsterdam. Mr Kelly is also currently acting as interim Chief Executive Officer at ASL Airlines, Hungary.

His current responsibilities within the ASL Aviation Group include strategic communications, external and government relations, regulatory affairs and lobbying and crisis communications. ASL has 6 European airlines in Ireland, France, Belgium, Hungary, Switzerland and Spain and operates 140 cargo and passenger aircraft ranging from the turbo prop to Boeing 747 Freighters.

Andrew Kelly is Director of Corporate Affairs for ASL Aviation Group – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The company also operates several transatlantic routes from Shannon and Dublin for Aer Lingus as well as cargo services for FedEx, DHL and UPS. The company also has a maintenance at Shannon Airport.

Mr Kelly has been involved on the frontline of negotiating and lobbying with the EU and the European Commission for many years. As Vice Chairman of the ERA Industry Affairs Group he attended, made presentations and spoke on behalf of his own airline and the member airlines of the ERA at European Commissions hearings on major issues impacting the regional airline industry including passenger rights and the ETS scheme.

Having worked as Director of Corporate Affairs in Meteor, he lobbied extensively in the European Commission and Parliament on competition and the rights on the ‘challenger brand’ mobile telephone networks who were facing major problems with access and predatory competition by the large dominant networks.

His earlier career included 13 years working as a consultant for Aer Lingus in both Corporate Affairs and Marketing and later held the position of Director of Corporate Affairs with Aer Arann.

From Shannon, Mr Kelly is still very much involved in the local community. He also worked previously in Limerick Echo, the Clare News before joining RTÉ News.

Andrew Kelly said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as ERA’s new President. I’m very much looking forward to working with the ERA leadership team and board members as we implement ERA’s future strategy and drive positive change in the European aviation industry.”

Lorna Reader, General Manager Corporate Administration at the European Regions Airline Association, said: “I am delighted to welcome Andrew Kelly as ERA’s new President and would like to thank outgoing President Boet Kreiken for his excellent work over the past four years.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick.

Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station’s flagship current affairs programme.

He was also the station’s News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day.

As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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