Video of the week – Asia Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit: industry perspectives

10 December, 2019

Over recent years we've been through a period of relatively benign external inputs, with low fuel prices supporting lower fares and a solid global economy supporting demand. This has propelled the industry into a period of unprecedented profitability (although US airlines, mostly operating domestically, have accounted for around half of this).

The period of high profitability is unlikely to continue as oil prices, currently in the mid-USD60s/barrel for Brent Crude, creep up and as business and consumer confidence - at least, outside the US - slips rapidly.

The IMF recently issued a warning that the global economy is weakening "faster than expected" and downgraded GDP growth forecasts for 2019, and the European Central Bank has "substantially" revised downwards its economic growth projections for 2019, implying a slackening of demand in markets which have become increasingly price sensitive.

At the same time, the entire aviation system is undergoing a technology-led upheaval of volcanic proportions, challenging conventional norms and demanding new solutions to new problems (and opportunities).

Airline management's role is to prepare for and manage the airline prudently through good times and bad; in a downturn this means minimising the impact on profitability while remaining competitive.

The CAPA Asia Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit attempted to tap into the latest industry issues and developments, challenging leaders of the industry to reflect on what is needed to drive the industry forward.

This event, hosted at the Capella Singapore, ranked as one of best hotel experiences in Singapore, brought together hundreds of aviation and travel executives from airlines, airports and suppliers to explore relevant issues, as well as the commercial and operational pillars underpinning strategic decision making at international carriers.

Here's full coverage of the panel sessions from the event.

The keys to airline survival and success in an economic downturn

Moderator: CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison

Panel: Garuda Indonesia, President & CEO, I. Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra; IndiGo, Chief Commercial Officer, Willy Boulter; Jetstar Asia, CEO, Barathan Pasupathi; Thai AirAsia, Executive Chairman, Tassapon Bijleveld

How the next generation narrow-and wide-body aircraft will change the shape of air travel in Asia

Moderator: Frost & Sullivan, Consulting Analyst, Shantanu Gangakhedkar

Panel: Bangkok Airways, Advisor to Board of Directors, Peter Wiesner; IndiGo, Chief Commercial Officer, Willy Boulter; PwC, Chief Consultant, Johnny Lau

How data analytics is reshaping the industry

Moderator: APEX, CEO, Dr. Joe Leader

Panel: China Eastern Airlines, Head of Data Labs, Shawn Wang; Google, Industry Manager, APAC Travel, Axel Bader; Skyscanner, VP, Commercial, Hugh Aitken; Tata SIA Airlines (Vistara), Chief Innovation & Information Officer, Ravinder Singh

Frequent flyer and loyalty programmes - driving traveller value and airline revenue

Moderator: On Point Loyalty, Managing Partner, Evert de Boer

Panel: Aimia, CEO, Jeremy Rabe; Cebu Pacific, General Manager Loyalty, Nik Laming; Jet Privilege, Chairman, Gavin Halliday; Standard Chartered Bank, Global Head of Alliances, Alice Goh

Travel tech roundtable - where to next?

Moderator: Travelport, Global Vice President & Global Head of Air Travel Partners, Damian Hickey

Panel: China Eastern Airlines, Head of Data Labs, Shawn Wang; IBM, Travel & Transport Sector Leader APAC & MEA, Michael Parsons; Skyscanner, Commercial Director, Gavin Harris

Challenges to traditional distribution and selling in Asia's fast changing market

Moderator: Travelport, Global Head of New Distribution, Ian Heywood

Panel: Corning, Asia Strategic Sourcing Manager, Travel and Professional Services, Peter Koh; IATA, Director, Industry Distribution Programs, Yanik Hoyles; Japan Airlines, Vice President and Head of Global Sales, Steve Smith

Emerging aviation powerhouses: China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia

Moderator: National University of Singapore, Professor of Law, Alan Tan

Panel: China Southern Airlines, SVP of International and Corporate Relations, Guo Xiang Wu; Hong Kong Airlines, Vice President, Ben Wong; Malaysian Aviation Commission, Director - Aviation Development, Germal Singh Khera; VietJet Air, Member of Board of Directors, Cuong Chu

Urban Air Mobility - changing the competitive landscape of short haul regional aviation as barriers to entry are lowered

Moderator: CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison

Panel: Japan Airlines, VP, Marketing & Strategy Research, Akihide Yoguchi; NEO Aeronautics, Co-Founder/Avionics Systems Spec, Charles Aravinda

Aviation insights: an air finance outlook

Moderator: Watson Farley & Williams, Partner, Alan Polivnick

Panel: BOC Aviation, Managing Director & CEO, Robert Martin; ICBC Aviation Leasing, Managing Director, Market Planning, Ross McKeand; Korea Development Bank, SVP Aviation Finance, Dong Kyun Ha; PwC, Chief Consultant Aviation Business Services, Johnny Lau

Aviation insights: infrastructure constraints in Asia

Moderator: ASM Global, Senior Consultant, Omar Hashmi

Panel: Bangkok Airways, Advisor to Board of Directors, Peter Wiesner; Cam Ranh Airport Terminal JSC, COO, Sulaiman Zainul Abidin; Hong Kong Airlines, VP, Ben Wong; Taoyuan International Airport, Director, Yuanhung Ting