Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

1 May, 2020

The Blue Swan Daily brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.

Airbus CEO: 'We are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the aerospace industry has ever known'

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury reported (29-Apr-2020) the company experienced "a solid start to the year both commercially and industrially but we are quickly seeing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic coming through in the numbers". Mr Faury said: "We are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the aerospace industry has ever known" and is implementing a number of measures to ensure the future of Airbus. Mr Faury stated the company has bolstered "available liquidity to support financial flexibility. We're adapting commercial aircraft production rates in line with customer demand and concentrating on cash containment and our longer term cost structure to ensure we can return to normal operations once the situation improves". [more - original PR]

IATA CEO: Industry 'in free fall' but must prepare now for easing of travel restrictions

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac stated (29-Apr-2020) "The industry is in free fall and we have not hit bottom", but expressed hope that authorities will begin easing travel restrictions "soon". Mr de Juniac commented: "It is imperative that governments work with industry now to prepare for that day. It is the only way to ensure that we have measures in place to keep passengers safe during travel and reassure governments that aviation will not be a vector in the spread of the disease". He added: "We must also avoid the confusion and complexity that followed 9/11". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

Bank of New Zealand CEO: NZ weakest sectors include tourism, accommodation and hospitality

Bank of New Zealand CEO Angie Mentis reported New Zealand's weakest economic sectors are tourism, accommodation and hospitality, with expectations of many failed businesses due to coronavirus (RNZ, 28-Apr-2020).

Ryanair CEO urges government to pay for blocked middle seat social distancing measures

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary, responding to aircraft social distancing measures and the blocking of middle seats, reported social distancing on an aircraft "is as unimplementable as it is on the undergound and on trains" (Sky News/One Mile At A Time, 24-Apr-2020). Mr O'Leary urged governments to pay for unoccupied middle seats if the measures were to be imposed.

Southwest Airlines will not take out seats or block middle seats: CEO

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said the airline will "have work to do to convince customers...that it is safe to come to the airport", but noted the carrier is "certainly not going to take out seats and nor would we go to the effort to block a middle seat" or prevent people from sitting in the middle seat (Seeking Alpha, 28-Apr-2020). "We would simply manage it from a bookings standpoint", he said, commenting the carrier will "perhaps" not "take bookings that would fill up an airplane". He noted this idea "would be a logical way to address a concern about social distancing getting on the airplane", affirming that this is "an idea" and not yet announced or implemented.

Finnair CEO: Coronavirus caused a change compared 'to nothing' in the history of aviation

Finnair CEO Topi Manner reported (29-Apr-2020) 1Q2020 "will be remembered for the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic". Mr Manner said from Feb-2020 onwards "the coronavirus situation caused a dramatic change in revenues - a change that compares to nothing in the entire 100 year history of commercial aviation" with revenue decreasing 16% to EUR561 million. [more - original PR]