Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a – CAPA Live special

12 November, 2021

CTC - Corporate Travel Community brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know during the recent Nov-2021 edition of CAPA Live - a monthly virtual summit, offering insights, information, data and live interviews with airline CEOs and industry executives across a next-gen virtual event platform.

Business travel recovery 'nine to 12 months out', says Alaska Air Group VP network & alliances

Alaska Air Group VP network and alliances Brett Catlin stated the aviation industry is "...probably nine to 12 months out before you see a large recovery in business travel" following COVID-19. He noted connectivity, particularly in business travel, between Asia and the international market is "certainly lagging what we're seeing from international demand more broadly, which is natural given the closures in place".

EUROCONTROL director general: 'We've lost the PR battle for aviation'

EUROCONTROL director general Eamonn Brennan stated "I think we've lost the PR battle for aviation. Aviation is about 3%-3.5% of global emissions at the worst, but if you talk to anybody in the street they would think it's 35%. We've lost a scale and understanding of the problem and unless we come through with something really good like SAF or better flight paths, we're actually going to be in big trouble".

AirAsia Group: Technology has been a life saver

AirAsia Group COO Javed Anwar Malik stated "Technology has not been the problem and will not be the problem, for us it has been a big life saver". Mr Malik said technology allowed the group to invest in contactless solutions through its super app, which it worked on prior to COVID-19. He added: "We're the only airline in the world where every system is on google cloud. We're really partnered to technology and it has increased engagement times and reduce costs and we've done that really well".

CAPA chairman emeritus: China's absence going to have a 'substantial impact'

CAPA - Centre for Aviation chairman emeritus Peter Harbison stated in 2019, on an international basis, there were "over 200 million" seats from China, highlighting a "very steep drop" in 2021. Mr Harbison said: "The absence of China internationally is… going to have a pretty substantial impact, particularly in Northeast Asia, but also across the region".

Wizz Air CEO: Need for efficiency will require some airlines to 'fundamentally rethink'

Wizz Air CEO József Váradi stated it is important to use existing technology as efficiently as possible to help achieve sustainability in aviation. Mr Váradi questioned the need for business class, particularly in short haul markets, and connecting via hubs for short haul operations due to the greater emissions footprint compared to point-to-point operations. Mr Váradi commented: "I think that will require some of the airlines to fundamentally rethink their way of doing business and their business approach and we shall see how politics and governments will react to this, especially when they own an airline".

LAM - Mozambique Airlines GM: Cyberattacks are 'a major threat' for airlines

LAM - Mozambique Airlines GM João Carlos Pó Jorge stated the recent ransomware attack on the company was "a big lesson for us". Mr Pó Jorge said the attack "affected all systems in the company" and cyberattacks are "a major threat... that many airlines are facing now".

Air Malta executive chairman: 'Pandemic exposed' industry's contribution to climate change

Air Malta executive chairman David Curmi stated the "pandemic exposed our industry's contribution to human induced climate change", citing a decrease in emissions of over 400 million tonnes in 2020 compared to 2019, due to reduced flying. Mr Curmi added that the pandemic showed "that there is significant opportunity for the industry to continue to work towards its environmental responsibility and commitment". Mr Curmi said governments must work together with the industry to "move away from fossil fuel and ultimately to carbon free power".

JAL VP Asia and Oceania senior says unified app like IATA Travel Pass is 'necessary'

Japan Airlines (JAL) VP Asia and Oceania marketing & strategy research Akihide Yoguchi stated "it is necessary to have a unified device... or apps like IATA Travel Pass or VeriFLY" to ease "the complexity for travellers to obtain necessary documents". Mr Yoguchi said documentation requirements are "getting in the way" of demand recovery, from a consumer perspective. He pointed out airport queues are long despite lower travel levels, adding "when [demand] comes back I'm sure the efficiency of the traffic operations would be questioned".

Volaris CEO: Mexican Government's hands off approach prevented suppression of demand

Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena stated the Mexican Government's "hands off" approach during the pandemic helped to prevent further suppression of demand. Mr Beltranena said Volaris expects to end 2021 "in the ball park" of 30% ASM growth compared to 2019 levels. He added the main drivers of growth were the domestic market, expansion to countries like Colombia and Honduras and the launch of Volaris El Salvador.

IBM: Accurate forecasting is key for emission reduction while SAF remains inaccessible

IBM customer success practice lead for weather business solutions Scott Nogueira stated accurate forecasting is the "pinnacle" of emission reduction efforts while sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) remain in development, adding: "If it's forecast well [we] have less delays, less planes sitting on the tarmac burning fuel [and] more efficient ground operations". Mr Nogueira highlighted the importance of a 'human in the loop' forecasting model to counteract anomalies and bias in conjunction with AI. He stated: "We have the best combination of not only the most accurate models [but] also the meteorologists in house, the human element that allows you to get a grip on the forecast, especially in the short term where the human aspect really shines".

United Airlines 'fully confident' in international travel resurgence over next 3-5 years

United Airlines director of greater China, Korea and southeast Asia sales Walter Dias stated the airline is "fully confident that over the next three to five years, we're really going to have a renaissance in international business traffic and international leisure traffic".

Hawaiian Miles MD: 'We know Hawaii better than our competitors'

Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Miles MD Bryan Kapeckas stated "Our very brand also happens to be one of the top leader destinations in the world, certainly in the US". Mr Kapeckas said being a destination carrier "isn't as easy as it sounds because every time we fly into a major city, it's often another airline's hub or home country market". He stated: "We're used to being the challenger brand against larger frequent flyer programmes and larger airlines", adding: "We rarely have the advantage of scale against our competitors, but we know Hawaii better than our competitors".

Asia reopening will 'see similar dynamic' to Europe, says Alaska Air Group VP network & alliances

Alaska Air Group VP network and alliances Brett Catlin stated he is "confident" the reopening of Asia will "see a similar dynamic" to that of Europe. Mr Catlin added the group has "seen a strong recovery in terms of connecting flow from our partners in Europe and elsewhere". He noted the success of Asia's reopening is "a function of government restrictions", and demand will come when restrictions are lifted country-by-country.