Soundbytes: your weekly travel and aviation industry insights

7 July, 2023

CTC – Corporate Travel Community each week brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.

‘Planes were full’ in May-2023: IATA DG

IATA reported  all markets recorded "strong growth" in international traffic during May-2023, led by carriers in Asia Pacific. Middle Eastern and North American carriers exceeded pre-pandemic levels in terms of international RPKs, and North American carriers led the total industry load factor at 86.3%. IATA director general Willie Walsh stated: "We saw more good news in May", adding: "Planes were full, with the average load factors reaching 81.8%". Mr Walsh said: "Domestic markets reported growth on pre-pandemic levels. And, heading into the busy Northern summer travel season, international demand reached 90.8% of pre-pandemic levels".

Icelandair CEO: Iceland's passenger tax 'not the best way forward'

Icelandair CEO Bogi Bogason stated plans to introduce a tax of approximately EUR1.3 per passenger flying to or from Icelandic airports from Nov-2023 "is not the right strategy". Mr Bogason said the tax "is designed to fund the development of Icelandic airports", however believes that "increasing taxes is not the best way forward". Mr Bogason stated "tourism is the largest export industry in Iceland and already generates significant revenues for the government", adding "there is no need for further taxation than we already have".

Tunisian President: ‘We want the skies to be open for Tunisian planes’

Tunisia's President Kais Saied met with Minister of Transport Rabii Mejidi and Tunisair CEO Khaled Chelli to discuss the national carrier's business rescue plan. The leaders examined ways to modernise Tunisair's fleet and acquire new aircraft, as well as sell off inactive aircraft and defective spare parts to optimise resources. The carrier currently operates 15 aircraft with an average aircraft age of nine years old. President Saied stated: "Tunisair was one of the best public companies for years before it was hit hard by corruption… We want the skies to be open for Tunisian planes and not to be strewn by planes that do not include ours".

British Airways CEO: ‘We haven't seen the global supply chain function as optimally as during pre-pandemic’

British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said he is hopeful supply issues throughout the aviation industry will ease from 2024        . Mr Doyle stated: "We need to keep the pressure on our suppliers to ensure they keep improving. If you talk to anybody in the industry, there's a constraint. The production of aircraft is not back to the pre-pandemic levels at [Airbus and Boeing]... We haven't seen the global supply chain function as optimally as during pre-pandemic".

'DENPerks' loyalty programme makes airport experience ‘more rewarding’: Denver International CEO

Denver International Airport (DEN) partnered with GlidePathCX to introduce 'DENPerks', a new dining and shopping loyalty programme. The initiative is part of the 'Thanks Again' loyalty programme, which is available at over 2500 concessions across more than 100 US airports. Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington stated: "This innovative programme is designed to make the DEN airport experience more rewarding by offering passengers the opportunity to earn while they travel, shop and dine with us and at other participating airports". [more - original PR]

Ryanair will return to Frankfurt only when 'low cost terminal is there': Group CEO

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary said the LCC will only return to Frankfurt "when the planned low cost terminal is there". Ryanair closed its base at Frankfurt Airport in Mar-2022, as previously reported by CAPA. Mr O'Leary said the carrier is seeking to expand its range of routes in Germany "in the next 12 months", adding that the LCC is "now expanding in Hahn, Nuremberg and Berlin".

Kenya Airways planning fleet consolidation to focus on Boeing models: CEO

Kenya Airways Group MD and CEO Allan Kilavuka stated the airline plans to consolidate its fleet to Boeing models. Mr Kilavuka said: "The board has approved that we move towards the Boeing aircraft", adding: "This is, however, going to happen progressively and not in one shot because we don't want to overheat". He said fleet consolidation "simplifies our fleet and brings more commonality to the type of airline that you fly", adding: "This helps with training and planning and reduces costs in terms of the crew you need and spare parts costs".