In one of his final interviews as Virgin Australia Group Executive, John Thomas discusses international growth at Melbourne, where there are more convenient domestic-international transfers. Domestically, Virgin has retrofitted its 737 fleet to increase legroom in the first five rows of economy and include ground priority access. Virgin is targeting corporate growth in the SME space. On the horizon is Sydney’s second airport, and Mr Thomas wants the facility to be curfew free.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce discusses digital growth. Qantas plans to be its largest distribution source and aims to be an e-retailer like Amazon. Qantas has established a digital division that, like its LCC, has intentionally given a different office with dedicated staff so they can experiment freely. Mr Joyce encourages an approach of “try fast and fail fast”.
Vietnam Airlines CEO Duong Tri Thanh discusses the airline’s expansion plans and the rapid growth of the overall Vietnamese market. Mr Thanh also talks about the performance of the 787s and A350s, both of which have now been operated by Vietnam Airlines for two years, and the upcoming phase out of the 777 fleet. The airline is preparing for further expansion over the next few years, including the launch of flights to the US in late 2018 or 2019.