Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

9 October, 2020

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

LATAM Airlines Brazil on market share: 'I don't need to gain market, I need to make money'
LATAM Airlines Brasil CEO Jerome Cadier commented on the carrier's Aug-2020 market share in Brazil, stating: "We need to be careful when making conclusions from market share data, when the industry's total volume is under 70%". He added: "Today, I pay my aircraft on the flight hour. Therefore, I'm more selective than Azul and Gol". He concluded: "I don't need to gain market, I need to make money… I won't fight for market share".

airBaltic CEO: 'Why can't we be the base for one of the biggest airlines in Europe?'
airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss proposed airBaltic could expand beyond its small airline status. Mr Gauss said: "Why can't we be the base for one of the biggest airlines in Europe". He added: "Why can't we take it beyond the Baltics and have the best, the greenest, and the most sustainable airline in Europe".

IATA: Mandatory quarantine has same effect as 'outright border closures'
IATA urged the US to implement pre-departure Covid-19 testing and remove quarantine requirements. IATA regional VP for the Americas Peter Cerdá explained: "Mandatory arrival quarantines for air travellers have the same effect as outright border closures. There are better ways to protect citizens during the Covid-19 crisis. Instead of implementing job-destroying arrival quarantines, states should be encouraging the federal government to work with other governments to implement pre-departure testing.

Cathay Pacific considering smaller aircraft and reducing business seats as part of restructure
Cathay Pacific CEO Augustus Tang Kin-wing said the carrier will consider if it needs smaller aircraft with fewer business class seats as part of its restructure plan, scheduled to be announced in 4Q2020, but added that no immediate changes are on the horizon. He also said "right sizing" the airline includes rationalising routes and reviewing non-core assets. Mr Tang said that after the restructuring the airline would be "extremely competitive" to make Hong Kong's airport hub stronger. He also said that as Hong Kong and other markets open, Cathay would be "rapidly expanding into those recovered markets".

Norwegian CEO: Covid-19 pandemic 'far from over'
Norwegian reported its traffic results for Sep-2020 were "heavily impacted" by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent drop in demand from new and stricter travel restrictions across Europe. Norwegian CEO Jacob Schram commented: "We have seen that as soon as the authorities impose new travel restrictions demand is immediately impacted. We are continuously adapting our route network in line with changing demand, but the frequent changes in travel restrictions make forward planning difficult, both for us and our customers". He added that Covid-19 continues to be a prolonged crisis that is "far from over".

Japan Airlines shifting focus from international business travel to low cost network
Japan Airlines (JAL) president Yuji Akasaka said the carrier will reduce its focus on international business travel to strengthen its low cost network. As business demand will not come back to where it used to be, Mr Akasaka said "we need to leverage on low cost models which suit holiday use so that it can complement reduced business demand".

Finnair: Covid-19 transmission onboard 'seems to be very low'
Finnair medical director Kimmo Ketola said medical evidence so far shows that onboard transmission of Covid-19 is "likely to be low or extremely low". He added that while the reasons for the apparently low rate of onboard transmission are not yet known, they could encompass a combination of the lack of face-to-face contact, physical barriers provided by seatbacks and the characteristics of cabin airflow. "Naturally research continues on this topic, but looking at the evidence so far, the risk of transmission in an aircraft seems to be very low", Mr Ketola concluded.

UK Transport Minister: Coronavirus airport testing not a 'very straightforward thing'
UK's Transport Minister Grant Shapps said the next stage of travel restrictions is to enable airport testing, but it is not a "very straightforward thing". Mr Shapps said: "The way to do that is to still have a period of quarantine but also test and be able to release people".

OPEC secretary general: Rising infections 'continue to create a drag on oil demand'
OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said rising Covid-19 infection figures "continue to create a drag on oil demand and undermine the global economic recovery". In addition, the "adverse longer-term effects with unfolding structural changes are becoming more visible", with "devastation for many oil producers" highlighted by a strong rise in bankruptcies among US oil and gas firms.

Condor CEO: 'Cuba fulfils all the requirements' for leisure travel during Covid-19
Condor Flugdienst CEO Ralf Teckentrup commented on the airline's plans to resume services to Cuba: "Germans want to feel comfortable on vacation, during the trip and at their destination, but also in times of coronavirus. With Caribbean temperatures, great hotels and dream beaches for swimming and relaxing, Cuba fulfils all the requirements"

Ukraine International Airlines operates in a time of 'false starts'
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) CEO Eugene Dykhne said the carrier is operating at a time of "false starts". Mr Dykhne said: "During quarantine we changed the start date three times. It looks like this: we open sales, inform passengers, work with airports, handling companies worldwide, to commence work, and suddenly everything is postponed. Either quarantine measures are extended or some country bans the entry of citizens".

Tourism Industry Council hopeful 'revenge travel' will drive tourism to the Cook Islands following border opening
Tourism Industry Council (TIC) president Liana Scott said TIC is hopeful a ''revenge travel" mindset "will drive substantial volume to the Cook Islands as soon as the borders open". Ms Scott said Tourism Cook Islands Australasia has marketing campaigns in place for an announcement of border reopenings, and Tourism Cook Islands has been "holding sessions of Kia Orana Plus courses with the objective of industry preparedness for the border opening and travel resuming".

IATA: There is 'little appetite among consumers for cost increases' among travellers
IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac cautioned there is "little appetite among consumers for cost increases", with two thirds of travellers in a recent IATA survey indicating that they will postpone travel until the overall economy or their personal financial situation stabilises.