Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

31 July, 2020

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

Wizz Air expects COVID-19 recovery to become a 'rollercoaster' due ongoing changes in restrictions

Wizz Air CEO József Váradi expects COVID-19 recovery will become "more of a rollercoaster" as a result of easing and reintroduction of travel restrictions (Reuters, 29-Jul-2020). Mr Váradi said while demand for air travel exists, uncertainty and the unpredictable nature of government imposed restrictions is hindering the recovery process. The carrier is prepared to exercise flexibility in response to the changing regulatory environment. Wizz Air hopes to operate 70% to 80% of capacity in 2020.

London Heathrow Airport CEO: 'Britain is just playing a game of quarantine roulette'

London Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye stated (29-Jul-2020) "The UK needs a passenger testing regime and fast", and without it, "Britain is just playing a game of quarantine roulette". Mr Holland-Kaye stated: "Testing offers a way to safely open up travel and trade to some of the UK's biggest markets which currently remain closed. Our European competitors are racing ahead with passenger testing, if the UK doesn't act soon global Britain will be nothing more than a campaign slogan". [more - original PR]

Aer Lingus CEO: Irish travel restrictions 'are more restrictive than any other country in Europe'

Aer Lingus CEO Sean Doyle said: "There is not a clear understanding of the scale of the crisis or indeed its significance for the Irish economy and its future recovery" (Belfast Telegraph, 28-Jul-2020). Mr Doyle said due to "Ireland's travel restrictions are more restrictive than any other country in Europe, and Ireland now stands alone in applying a policy, while the rest of Europe has opened up for travel".

Ryanair CEO: UK's Spanish travel restrictions a 'badly managed over-reaction'

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary, responding to amendments in UK travel restrictions from Spain, stated: "There is no scientific basis for a national restriction" and it is a "badly managed over-reaction" (Reuters/BBC, 27-Jul-2020). Ryanair CFO Neil Sorahan said the airline has "no plans to cut capacity in the medium term".

IATA CEO: Restrictions 'the most immediate problem' for the recovery of travel

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said (27-Jul-2020) travel restrictions "are the most immediate problem" for the recovery of travel demand, adding that people "need to see governments working together so that they can safely get on with more normal lives". Mr de Juniac said the challenge is to "learn to live with this virus", but also noted that a "start-stop approach to lifting and re-imposing restrictions" doe not help in restoring demand. As a result, the "immediate top priority in combatting travel restrictions" is implementing the ICAO travel and biosecurity guidance and establishing contact tracing. [more - original PR]

Qatar Airways still to make final decision on oneworld departure: CEO

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said he has "still not made" a final decision regarding the carrier's intention to leave the oneworld alliance, as he is "still waiting for some more pieces of the puzzle to fall in place" (Aviation Week, 21-Jul-2020). He explained that if these "pieces of the puzzle" do fall into place, then the carrier will "stay in the oneworld", otherwise he will "still give a little bit more time, after which I will have to decide if I still have to leave or I stay". Mr Al Baker stated Qatar Airways was "being bullied" in the alliance, "because of the state aid and subsidy issue".