Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

18 June, 2021

At a time of crisis, it is important that we share our insights and experience, helping each other to contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. CTC - Corporate Travel Community each week brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.

Ryanair CEO: 'The UK's Covid travel policy is a shambles'

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary stated "The UK's Covid travel policy is a shambles", adding the UK's green travel list "is non-existent because countries such as Malta and Portugal…remain on Amber". Mr O'Leary said UK's tourism and aviation "needs a pragmatic travel policy, which permits vaccinated UK and EU citizens to travel between the UK and the EU without the need for quarantine or negative PCR tests".

Australia to find 'practical ways to solve' immigration/migration issues 'over the next 12 months'

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated "Australia is a migration nation. It's an immigration nation. And so that has been cut off for us largely this last 18 months", adding Australia has to "find practical ways to solve those problems over the next 12 months". Mr Morrison said it is "the gradual process of opening things up safely, but also in a way that is targeted on the things that will give us the biggest benefit for our economy in doing so", noting green travel zones are a "common discussion amongst the leaders".

London Heathrow Airport CEO calls for targeted compensation to aviation industry

London Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye said the UK Government should provide "targeted compensation" to the aviation industry, including business rates relief and an extension to the furlough scheme. "Ministers have a chance to kickstart the green global recovery by agreeing how to resume international travel safely and setting a mandate for sustainable aviation fuels that will decarbonise aviation. This is the time for them to show global leadership," he said.

CAC president: Canadian airports have 'no insight' into national plans for international restoration

Canadian Airports Council (CAC) president Daniel-Robert Gooch said Canada's airports have "no insight" into national plans for "restoration of [international] air travel". Mr Gooch said airports are "hoping to have meaningful discussions with government" about the possibility of reopening, adding that the four airports currently handling international services are operating at around 5% of 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

Air France-KLM: European airlines seeking 'more balanced approach to consumer protection'

Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith said European airlines, represented by Airlines for Europe (A4E), are seeking "a more balanced approach to consumer protection" concerning passenger rights, stating the existing EU 261/2004 passenger rights regulation is "probably one of the most punitive protection-rights laws in the world". Mr Smith said the law is not flexible enough to handle mass cancellation events.

Harith CEO: Africa 'must still connect, trade must still go on'

Harith CEO and Takatso Consortium joint leader Tshepo Mahloele stated: "We look at what the opportunity is… we believe that aviation, with regards to the… African region represents that opportunity right now", adding: "I really believe in the next three years will look very different to where we are today". Mr Mahloele said: "We know for sure people will always be traveling", adding the African continent "must still connect, trade must still go on". He said with Africa's aviation sector remains one of the "front runners" to bring back trade and connections. Takatso has been selected as South African Airways' preferred strategic equity partner.

IAG CEO calls for vaccinated passengers to be eligible to travel to 'green' and 'amber' countries

IAG CEO Luis Gallego said the group can "have a summer", adding the group believes vaccinated passengers "can fly to green and amber countries". Mr Gallego said: "It's time to be brave. The governments, they need to be brave", allowing for "affordable, simple and proportionate" coronavirus testing to replace quarantine, the implementation of staffed borders and contactless technology.

IATA: European Council 'almost backtracking' on Single European Sky

IATA's regional VP for Europe Rafael Schvartzman said the European Council "does not seem to be committed to" the Single European Sky air traffic management modernisation and reform initiative, and is "almost backtracking" in the initiative.

TTF CEO: 'As an industry we are certainly not out of the woods yet'

Transport & Transport Forum (TTF) Australia CEO Margy Osmond said Queensland's Budget provides some good support to enable tourism and transport to continue to recover, however reiterates that a renewed central focus on the visitor economy will be needed particularly while Australia remains without a national framework for reopening international borders. Ms Osmond stated: "As an industry we are certainly not out of the woods yet and the visitor economy must remain a priority through the recovery as domestic travel uncertainty lingers and international travel remains virtually non-existent".

Delta Cargo: Digitalisation is a 'key focus'

Delta Cargo VP Rob Walpole stated digitisation is a "key focus" for the carrier, adding: "The website continues to be our highest performing preferred digital channel across cargo's distribution mix with over a third of global bookings made through the website". Mr Walpole said: "We also launched API connectivity", adding: "This provides our customers with the convenience of real-time connectivity to Delta systems from a customer's own platform. Customers can now easily shop, book and track their shipments from their own platforms".