Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

18 September, 2020

The Corporate Travel Community brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.

Norwegian CEO: 'We don’t have the financial muscle to get through the winter'
Norwegian CEO Jacob Schram said "we don't have the financial muscle to get through the winter" in 2020/2021 given "such a bad summer as we've had this year". He said it is "obvious" the Norwegian Government is an "important part of the solution, but not the only one", adding that the airline will meet with the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the coming weeks after developing its restructuring plan.

BARA ED: 'International airlines can’t be expected to operate as charity services'
Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) ED Barry Abrams stated "International airlines can't be expected to operate as charity services" as airfare issues "stem from government decisions that mean aircraft land into Australia largely empty". Mr Abrams said: "It's easy to criticise international airlines over airfares while ignoring the fact they are expected to pay commercial operating expenses for flights into Australia but can only accept a few passengers to cover these expenses".

Airbus CEO: Summer recovery has 'not been at the level the industry was counting on'
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury, via an internal memo to staff, stated the recovery in airline traffic over the summer period "has not been at the level the industry was counting on". Mr Faury added that Airbus must "now prepare for a crisis that will probably be even deeper and longer than the previous scenarios suggested".

London Heathrow Airport has ‘been killed by the quarantine': CEO
London Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye said the airport is at risk of being "a mining town in the 1980s" and it has "really been killed by the quarantine". Mr Holland-Kaye said: "What we have seen is that when people can fly, they will" and the airport is in need of "a sensible testing regime" and "If we don't take steps to open with testing we will see UK airports and airlines going bust – and once we've lost that capacity we will never get it back".

SpiceJet MD: 'We are witnessing some early encouraging signs towards recovery'
SpiceJet's chairman and MD Ajay Singh, commenting on the LCC's Q1FY2020/2021 results, stated: "This is the worst-ever crisis to hit the aviation sector but I am pleased that SpiceJet continues to innovate and outperform the industry". He added: "I am confident that as more and more States ease travel restrictions and business activity gets back to normal there will be a significant improvement in the operating environment for airlines and we are witnessing some early encouraging signs towards recovery".

Qantas Group: 'Arbitrary border restrictions' having 'profound economic and social cost'
Qantas Group, in a letter to Western Australia and Queensland Members of Parliament, said: "COVID-19 and the associated Queensland border restrictions have contributed to an 82 per cent drop in domestic tourism spend compared to the same period last year, placing profound stress on the industry which was hit first by the pandemic and will likely be the last to recover".

EUROCONTROL: Things are 'going backwards now and it’s really worrying for the entire industry'
EUROCONTROL stated the outlook for European aviation is "going backwards now and it's really worrying for the entire industry". The body raised concerns about a "lack of coordination" between European states on how to manage air travel," which is leading to "a lot of confusion and very little passenger confidence". It also noted outbreaks of COVID-19 are picking up across Europe, adding that it could get even worse if states continue to impose blanket restrictions and quarantine measures. This approach is "killing the travel and tourism industry".

Flight Centre MD: Australia's border closures a 'disaster' for industry
Flight Centre MD Graham Turner said Australia's border closures are a "disaster" for the "people in our industry". Mr Turner said: "We believe in one Australia" and "one Australian strategy", as well as the "need to learn to live with the virus". Mr Turner said: "We've got to learn to live with it" and "we've got to work as one Australia, not a whole series of states who all have totally different policies and strategies, they can't all be right" and urged for the opening of borders.

Transavia France CCO: French domestic ops launch 'opens a new chapter' for the airline
Transavia France CCO Nicolas Hénin said the launch of French domestic operations "opens a new chapter in the development of the company". The LCC will launch Nantes-Toulouse service from 02-Nov-2020, operating 10 times weekly. This route is one of five new domestic routes to be launched by the airline in Nov-2020 after agreements were reached with pilot unions lifting restrictions on operating on the French domestic market.

United Airlines CEO: No government support will result in 'more layoffs to come across the economy'
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said the carrier intends to lay off 16,000 employees and continues to "work with our unions", having reached a "deal last week that would save about 3000" pilot jobs. Mr Kirby warned: "The reality is, without more government support for the whole economy, there's going to be more layoffs to come across the economy".

Eurowings MD: ULCC business model 'on the decline throughout Germany'
Eurowings MD Jens Bischof commented on Ryanair's decision to withdraw from Duesseldorf Airport. He argued the ULCC business model is "on the decline throughout Germany", adding that Eurowings offers "reliability, fairness and long term prospects" instead of "undermining social standards and regularly offending partners and customers".

Copenhagen Airport registers 'quietest summer in living memory' in 2020
Copenhagen Kastrup Airport reported its "quietest summer in living memory" in 2020, handling 1.3 million passengers in Jun/Jul/Aug-2020, a decline of 85% year-on-year. The airport noted that after a "promising" start to summer 2020 season, traffic "became stagnant" in Aug-2020 even as the number of destinations served increased to 100. "People are not travelling in any great numbers, neither for leisure nor for business", CCO Peter Krogsgaard commented.