Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

26 February, 2021

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

London Heathrow Airport CEO: UK Government ''must understand that restarting aviation will take months'
London Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye said: "As we start to see what appears to be the light at the end of what has undeniably been a very long tunnel, we need to put in place measures" which allow the industry to "fight for its own survival" while protecting UK's public health achievements. Mr Holland-Kaye added UK's Government "must understand that restarting aviation will take months of planning and preparation–it needs to be actively working on a plan for how to do this safely now".

Virgin Australia CEO: VIP programme to be maintained 'Regardless of what happens with the Club Lounges'
Virgin Australia (VA) CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, in an email to 'The Club' members said a VIP programme "with the high touch services you know and have loved in the past" will be maintained, "Regardless of what happens with The Club lounges".

Finnair holds sufficient liquidity for the next 12 months even with minimal activity: CEO
Finnair CEO Topi Manner said even operating "very few flights" in the next 12 months, liquidity available "would still be enough". "We have enhanced the agility of our operations so that we can act fast when our customers are again ready to travel", Mr Manner continued.

Sydney Airport CEO: Coronavirus 'delivered a crisis of unpredicted magnitude'
Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport CEO Geoff Culbert stated coronavirus "delivered a crisis of unpredicted magnitude to the global aviation industry", with the airport "on the front line" both financially and operationally. Mr Culbert said actions the airport took, in conjunction with Australia's coronavirus vaccination rollout, means the airport as "laid the foundation for our recovery".

Amadeus: Rebuilding travel means reconsidering the entire journey from the passenger's perspective
Amadeus president of travel Decius Valmorbida said that in rebuilding travel after the coronavirus pandemic, there is a need to "reconsider the entire journey from the traveller's perspective because we don't believe travel was meeting its full potential as a product". Mr Valmorbida said the industry is "siloed and the different players that work together to deliver a trip, from booking to destination, haven't been able to offer travellers a complete end-to-end experience".

QantasLink CEO: Rex 'trying to blame Qantas for other challenges they may be having'
QantasLink CEO John Gissing, responding Regional Express' (Rex) network announcement, stated "This is a classic Rex tantrum", adding the carrier's "idea of competition is that it's something that happens to other people, because they believe they have an enshrined right to be the only carrier on some regional routes".

AirAsia Group CEO 'optimistic' on achieving fundraising target
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes stated he remains "optimistic" the company will achieve a fundraising target of MYR2.5 billion (USD618.5 million), adding this reflects "solid market and investor confidence". Mr Fernandes added: "We have positive ongoing discussions for other fundraising support measures in many of our key markets such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines which we will announce in due course".

SunExpress anticipates ramp-up in demand in summer 2021 with vaccine rollout
SunExpress CEO Max Kownatzki said the carrier expects to see a ramp-up in demand for travel during summer 2021, believing that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and availability of testing will be a driver for growth in tourism during the period. "This will enable all vacationers to travel more safely and will eventually lead to an increase in the number of European tourists visiting Turkey", Mr Kownatzki continued.

New Zealand 'not planning' for quarantine facilities 'beyond this year': Minister
New Zealand's Minister for COVID-19 Response, Education and Public Service Chris Hipkins said New Zealand is "not planning to have people in our managed isolation facilities beyond this year", with the goal to not implement travel restrictions 'indefinitely'. Mr Hipkins said New Zealand's Government is not planning to construct a specialised quarantine facility.

Volotea 'very keen to count on Airbus as fleet partner long term': CEO
Volotea CEO Carlos Muñoz said the carrier is "very proud" to be transitioning to an all Airbus fleet, adding the company is "very keen to count on Airbus as our fleet partner long term". The LCC has sourced 15 A320s with a further four potentially to be added depending on summer 2021 demand. He noted that the increased competitiveness of the A320 over the Boeing 717 will be "very necessary" in a post-COVID-19 environment with lower demand expected for the coming years.

airBaltic CEO on further aid: 'We will review the situation with vaccination in spring 2021'
airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss said the carrier has planned for five different traffic scenarios in 2021, adding that if "there are no changes to the current situation" it will seek further state aid. "We will review the situation with vaccination in the spring 2021", Mr Gauss continued.

Airbus CEO: Airbus-Boeing WTO trade dispute has 'put us in a lose-lose situation'
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the trans-Atlantic trade dispute about subsidies for large commercial aircraft producers has "put us in a lose-lose situation" and resulted in an outcome where "wisdom would normally dictate that we have a ceasefire and resolve this conflict". Both the EU and the US have put WTO approved tariffs on large commercial aircraft import tariffs, following decisions that found that subsidies for Airbus and Boeing breached international trade agreements.

AGS Airports CEO: 'aviation industry is not a priority for the Scottish Government'
AGS Airports CEO Derek Provan said following the UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson providing a "clear framework for the safe restart of international aviation", Scotland's "First Minister provided a clear message the aviation industry is not a priority for the Scottish Government". Mr Provan said Scotland's Government provided "no plan or framework against which we can start plotting any form of recovery", which consequently sent "a very worrying signal to our airports, our airlines and the thousands of staff our sector supports".

NAV CANADA CEO defends decision to cut service levels at some airports
NAV CANADA CEO Raymond Bohn, responding to statements made by Canadian Air Traffic Control Association president Doug Best, said safety is the "highest priority" for the ANSP he was dismayed to read the "assertions" about potential changes to NAV CANADA's level of services at several airports across Canada. Mr Bohn said the ANSP needed to make "very difficult decisions in response to the significant negative impact COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on global air traffic and on the aviation industry" and emphasised that NAV CANADA is a not for profit entity with a business model where "all decisions being considered are made in the interest of preserving the integrity and sustainability of Canada's air navigation system".

Loganair to 'focus on regional aircraft with 70 seats' as its upper most limit
Loganair CEO Jonathan Hinkles said the carrier's "plan is very much to focus on regional aircraft with 70 seats probably as our upper-most limit", allowing the airline to "maintain the span and frequency of our route network". Mr Hinkles said there is currently "no clear sign" of "staycation" demand, as it is "just too early to tell".