Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

6 November, 2020

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

ACI World: International travel 'continues to be, for all intents and purposes, non-existent'
Airports Council International (ACI) World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said hopes that airports could rely on "some form of bounce-back in the Northern Hemisphere summer were dashed as the governments continued to apply unilateral measures to close borders or impose unnecessary quarantine measures". Mr de Oliveira added that data collected at the end of summer "showed some signs of a slow recovery in domestic markets, mainly in China and Europe" although the international passenger segment "continues to be, for all intents and purposes, non-existent".

Hawaiian Airlines CEO: Strict quarantines 'virtually eliminate all demand for travel'
Hawaiian Holdings CEO Peter Ingram stated quarantines that are "strictly enforced virtually eliminate all demand for travel". Following the introduction of Hawaii's pre-travel testing programme from 15-Oct-2020, Hawaiian is seeing "encouraging" results, with expectations that demand "will continue to improve in the months ahead and we are expanding and will continue to expand our schedule to meet this demand".

Virgin Atlantic CEO calls for swift introduction of passenger testing in the UK
Virgin Atlantic Airways CEO Shai Weiss stated: "the UK government is significantly underestimating the efficacy of passenger testing, therefore it's essential that the government's Global Travel Taskforce acts swiftly to implement a testing regime to open up the skies safely, which industry has proven it can deliver without diverting vital NHS resources". Mr Weiss added: "By the time the new national restrictions begin to ease in December, we need to have a passenger testing regime in place in the UK", noting that delays in the implementation of testing "will result in further distress across the travel, tourism and aviation industries, urgently driving the need for sector-specific support".

JetBlue Airways sees 'relative strength' in Latin American, Florida markets
JetBlue Airways president and COO Joanna Geraghty stated there is "relative strength" in the carrier's Latin America/Caribbean markets, "driven by visiting friends and relative demand", while trans Continental demand is also "modestly improved", "following the removal of quarantine measures from travel between New York and California"

Qantas CEO: Queensland border closure to Sydney 'ridiculous'
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce stated Queensland Government's decision to remain closed to Greater Sydney from 03-Nov-2020 is "ridiculous". Mr Joyce said: "Sydney is the biggest city in Australia and it probably has one of the best track records globally of managing a virus that is clearly going to be with us for a very long time". He added keeping borders closed to areas "you can't reasonably call hotspots makes no sense from a health perspective and it's doing a lot of social and economic damage as well". Mr Joyce stated: "Queensland may find that by the time it does open up to Sydney, people have made other plans".

Hilton CEO: Leisure travel leading recovery, followed by business then group travel
Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said the company has seen that "leisure is more resilient" than any other form of travel, with "business travel probably second and then group and meetings business last because it's a longer lead business". Mr Nassetta said bookings in the business and group travel segments have not picked up like usual in the transition from the summer season into the autumn season, and while business travel has "started to come back", he expects a "much greater lag" in the recovery of the group travel segment and it may not recover until there is a coronavirus vaccine.

AirAsia India CEO expects domestic travel in India to recover to pre outbreak levels by Apr-2022
AirAsia India CEO Sunil Bhaskaran reported the LCC previously expected domestic air travel in India to recover to pre-coronavirus outbreak levels by Apr-2021, but said "it increasingly looks like it will be" Apr-2022 until that recovery occurs. Mr Bhaskaran noted: "By Diwali, the domestic traffic is expected to reach 50% levels compared to last year", adding "the trajectory is good".

MAG CEO expects latest UK restrictions will be 'devastating' to sector and calls for urgent support
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) CEO Charlie Cornish stated the decision by UK's Government to ban travel from abroad will be devastating to a sector already struggling as a result of "confusing quarantine rules" and "painfully slow progress" on testing. Mr Cornish said the Government neglected UK aviation and the role it plays in the economy from day one of the coronavirus pandemic. He added: "A ban on travel and the mass cancellation of almost entire flying programmes will question the sustainability of parts of our sector".

Perth Airport CEO: WA border reopening 'cautious and responsible move'
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown stated the opening of Western Australia's border to several states from 03-Nov-2020 is a "cautious and responsible move". Mr Brown said the announcement "is great news for aviation, tourism and hospitality and the thousands of jobs these industries support". He added the airport has lost around six million passengers since Apr-2020.