Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

11 September, 2020

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

Melbourne Airport CEO: aviation 'was the canary in the coal mine for Covid-19'
Melbourne Tullamarine Airport CEO Lyell Strambi stated Australia's aviation sector "and around the world was the canary in the coal mine for Covid-19". Mr Strambi said: "Re-opening Australia's borders will be a great moment, a sign that the worst is behind us. In reality though, that still looks a way off" and "Victoria's crisis aside, Australia has been remarkably successful in achieving the goal of suppression". Mr Strambi noted: "So, we must plan to live sustainably with the virus" because "We cannot be sure when or if a vaccine will be available… It's hardly a foundation for economic recovery".

IAG CEO Willie Walsh: 2023 'probably a reasonable forecast' for coronavirus travel recovery
IAG's departing CEO Willie Walsh said: "I think it's going to take several years to get back to 2019 levels", with "The latest prediction is 2024" and "If you're an optimist you'd say 2023, the pessimists are saying 2027". Mr Walsh said: "Personally, I think it's closer to 2023... that's probably a reasonable forecast" and "global aviation has decreased to five per cent of what it was in 2019. This is unlike anything we've seen before".

Qantas chairman: 'We're absolutely paranoid about this virus' and 'almost addicted to the numbers'
Qantas chairman Richard Goyder said: "We're absolutely paranoid about this virus" and individuals are "now almost addicted to the numbers every day - 'How many new cases? How many deaths?' - which we didn't have with influenza and we don't have with motor vehicle accidents". Mr Goyder added: "This [recession] impacts the wrong people. I think the economic reality hasn't hit because of the programmes that've been put in place. That's great, but at some point reality's going to hit".

WTTC CEO: 'This public policy lottery is creating chaos'
World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) president and CEO Gloria Guevara stated: "WTTC shares the bewilderment of British holidaymakers and those working throughout the Travel & Tourism sector, at the absurd spectacle of completely different quarantine rules in England, Scotland and Wales for those now returning back from Greece". Ms Guevara added: "This public policy lottery is creating chaos" as it "shows confusion, mistrust and further seriously undermines the government's credibility in the eyes of the public".

Hawaiian Airlines expects a 'lot of pent up demand' for leisure travel: CEO
Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram said the carrier expects "a lot of pent up demand" for leisure travel, although "maybe not right now as people are obviously very concerned about the spread of the disease [Covid-19]". He noted the short term issue which Hawaiian Airlines faces is the 14 day quarantine that has been in place since Mar-2020, which "really stifled us from realising what demand may be out there right now". He said it is "important for the policy makers" in Hawaii to "get the pre travel testing regime open so we can see some near term demand".

SKY Airline: 'We have become the carrier with the smallest CO2 emission in the region'
SKY Airline executive president Holger Paulmann, via his personal LinkedIn account, announced (07-Sep-2020) the carrier commenced its fleet transition plan 10 years ago, changing from Boeing 737-200 to A319/A320, "and today we said farewell to our last A319, which was our transitioning aircraft for the arrival of the A320neos". Mr Paulmann stated the 737-200s emitted 150g of CO2 per passenger/km. This emission reduced to 90g with the A319s and to 60g with the A320neo. Mr Paulmann stated: "We have converted into the carrier with the smallest emission in the region".

Jet2holidays and pricing 'will need to remain consistently enticing': executive chairman
Dart Group executive chairman Philip Meeson stated Jet2holidays and's winter schedule forward bookings "have yet to match our revised on-sale seat capacity", as customer bookings display a shorter lead time than in previous years. As a result, pricing for both leisure travel products "will need to remain consistently enticing". In summer 2021, Dart Group plans to "fly to all our popular leisure destinations with an appropriate, tailored level of service, which we anticipate will be close to summer 2019 seat capacity levels".

Berlin Airport Company CEO: Airports 'still suffering severely' from effects of Covid-19
Berlin Airport Company chairman and CEO Dr Engelbert Lütke Daldrup commented on Berlin airport traffic for Aug-2020. Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and Berlin Tegel Airport handled 828,728 passengers in Aug-2020, a decrease of 73.9% year-on-year. He stated that results "clearly show" that airports are "still suffering severely" from the effects of Covid-19. Dr Daldrup added that while traffic has remained stable over the past few weeks, there is concern over ongoing and reimposed travel restrictions in Europe. He concluded: "Until there is enough vaccine, targeted testing at airports is the best way to ensure safe travel in the current situation".

Edinburgh Airport CEO: 'there are some incredibly dark days ahead'
Edinburgh Airport CEO Gordon Dewar issued a letter to Scotland's Justice Minister Humza Yousaf, noting: "A quarantine policy that is a travel ban in all but name makes this incredibly difficult, if not impossible" and is "ineffective and unworkable as your own figures show and it is having a damning impact on a range of industries". Mr Dewar said: "If this is the path the Scottish Government is to continue down then there are some incredibly dark days ahead… The aviation and travel industries are not too big to fall".