Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

20 August, 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.

Airlink CEO: Travellers unwilling to book in advance due to impact of pandemic

Airlink (South Africa) CEO and MD Rodger Foster stated the booking behaviour of South African travellers has changed due to "the combination of COVID, the arbitrariness of travel restrictions in many other countries and so many airlines either suspending operations or going out of business". Mr Foster added: "Many people are unwilling to book their flights more than a day or two in advance instead of weeks or months ahead of when they want to travel".

AnadoluJet likely to need more aircraft to support growth: CEO

AnadoluJet CEO Said Samil Karakas reported "very strong demand" from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport, including a "strong increase in transfer passengers from European destinations to Tel Aviv, Dubai, Erbil, Baku or Tehran". Mr Karakas said the airline's main goals are to increase its 35% market share at Sabiha Gokcen and expand international operations from Ankara. He said the carrier's fleet of 54 aircraft "will be most likely not be enough for our future growth".

SpiceJet 'severely impacted by the second wave' of COVID-19 in India in Q1FY2021/2022

SpiceJet chairman and MD Ajay Singh stated "the last five quarters have been the most difficult phase ever for SpiceJet as aviation remained the worst‐hit sector during the second wave" of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Mr Singh reported the LCC "was severely impacted by the second wave [in Q1FY2021/2022] as passenger traffic almost disappeared", however "with vaccination numbers picking up and demand for air travel increasing steadily, we hope the trend reverses soon".

JetBlue Airways does not 'have any plans… to leave Heathrow': CEO

JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes said the carrier does not "have any plans… to leave Heathrow", following the launch of New York JFK-London Heathrow service, with a temporary slot allowance at London Heathrow. Mr Hayes said it will not "be easy", adding "we think we have a path that's going to allow us to… stay here".

Western Australia considers moving NSW to 'extreme risk' zone

Western Australia's Premier Mark McGowan confirmed the state will move New South Wales from a 'high risk' zone to an 'extreme risk' zone if the five day rolling average for new daily cases reach 500. The extreme risk zone would only offer exemptions to very few arrivals who will be required to be vaccinated, present a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel and enter into a 14 day quarantine.

Azul CEO: LATAM Airlines Brasil acquisition will benefit entire industry

Azul CEO John Rodgerson said the carrier is still interested in acquiring LATAM Airlines Brasil, adding a potential transaction will "benefit pilots, suppliers, airports and the entire industry". Mr Rodgerson stated "some of the largest funds in the world" have expressed interest in financing the transaction.

Aviator lounge usage at Copenhagen Kastrup Airport down 60% in Jul-2021, on Jul-2019 levels

Aviator Relaxium commercial director Casper Olhoff Dons said Jul-2021 traffic at its two Copenhagen Kastrup Airport lounges was down 60% on Jul-2019 levels. Mr Dons said there has been a slight shift in clientele from business to leisure travellers. The company operates the Carlsberg Aviator and Aviator Apartment Business lounges.

Edinburgh Airport CEO: Government's cautious travel approach causing enormous economic damage

Edinburgh Airport CEO Gordon Dewar said the lack of a digital vaccine certificate in Scotland is leaving the country "massively behind" Europe. Mr Dewar added the Scottish Government's "cautious" approach to travel restrictions is causing "enormous" economic damage. The government has awarded a GBP600,000 contract to Netcompany to implement a digital vaccination certification scheme, but a launch date is yet to be announced.