Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

29 October, 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.

Emirates president: A380s 'not going anywhere', deliveries brought forward

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark confirmed the carrier will receive three further A380s in 2021, bringing its A380 fleet to 118 aircraft and accelerating its delivery schedule from Jun-2022. He added the A380 is set to remain "the linchpin" for Emirates' network, with the new aircraft expected to remain in its fleet until the 2030s.

London Heathrow Airport CEO: We are on the cusp of a recovery

London Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye said the airport is "on the cusp of a recovery which will unleash pent up demand". Mr Holland-Kaye said Heathrow has lost GBP3.4 billion cumulatively since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and remains loss making today, but that the airport has GBP4.1 billion in cash to be able to "come through until the market recovers".

JetBlue Airways CEO: Demand poised to accelerate into peak holiday periods and beyond

JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes stated the carrier believes demand is "once again poised to reaccelerate into the peak holiday periods and beyond as people continue to adjust to a new normal". Mr Hayes added JetBlue is headed towards a "full recovery and a return to sustained profitability".

AEF: Travelling 'guilt free' on zero emissions... has no basis in reality'

Aviation Environment Federation stated UK's Government published its plans for getting the whole economy, including aviation, to net zero emissions. AEF noted while zero emissions technologies should be encouraged, they should not be relied on as the policy actions that are needed today to reduce the sector's climate impact is overlooked. AEF policy director Cait Hewitt stated: "The idea that by 2050 we'll be flying 'guilt free' on zero emissions planes for long-haul flight has no basis in reality", adding "A net zero future needs to include less flying, more domestic holidays, and retraining for aviation workers whose jobs are precarious".

IATA: Governments need to deliver to commitment on risk-managed reopening of international travel

IATA director general Willie Walsh said the commitments made by governments at the ICAO High Level Conference on COVID-19 (HLCC) show they understand what is needed to re-start global connectivity, and the task now is implementation. Mr Walsh said the airline industry "cannot let the output of this meeting remain as words on paper" given the number of jobs and the amount of economic activity and travel that need governments to "deliver on the risk-managed reopening of international travel to which they have committed".

Qantas CEO: International sales 'have outstripped' domestic sales in recent weeks

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce stated "In recent weeks, sales on international flights to and from Sydney have outstripped sales on domestic flights". Mr Joyce said the services initially will be for Australians and their families, but the carrier expects tourists "to take advantage of these flights once borders reopen to international visitors, which is great news for the industry".

GE Aviation fuels leader: US SAF ambition is 'realistic, but there is a lot of work to do"

GE Aviation engineering leader for aviation fuels and additives Gurhan Andac said the Biden Administration's goal of the US producing at least three billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) p/a by 2030 and meeting 100% of aviation fuel demand with SAF by 2050 is "realistic, but there's a lot of work to do". Mr Andac said less than 1% of the fuel consumed in aviation is SAF, and this could climb to 2% by 2025 and possibly "something like a 10% replacement of conventional jet fuel in 10 to 15 years". He added that in the next 10 to 15 years "we will at some point reach a cusp" with SAF, where the "fuel technologies are in place, the policies in place, the airframe and engine technology in place regarding SAF use without the need for blending".

ACI Europe: COVID-19 ended illusion of airports as risk free businesses

ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec said airports need to adapt their business models to face the "dual challenge" of recovery and decarbonisation. Mr Jankovec stated the COVID-19 pandemic has "put an end to the illusion that airports are risk free businesses", adding that revenue generation is reliant on airports' ability to transition to "hyper-efficient and digitalised operations".

Ryanair Group CEO: 'I think we'll get to 10%' of operations to be used with SAF by 2030

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary said it believes it can "do better" than the European Union's target of 5% of services to be used with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030, adding "I think we'll get to 10%". Mr O'Leary said: "Whether we can get to 12.5%, I'm not sure, but I know if we don't invest in the research and that technology now, we certainly won't get there".

Auckland Airport CEO: Attitudes to travel may be different, wider trends mean 'growth will return'

Auckland International Airport CEO Adrian Littlewood said: "There may be some change in people's attitudes towards travel", adding "the other side of that is there's still a lot of people for whom travel is an important part of their life". Mr Littlewood said he believes "the wider trends still mean that growth will return", noting the effort the airport must put in place "is to do what we can to support the transition to new technologies, whether it be future electric aircraft or sustainable airfields".

AFRAA working to 'make the aviation industry more gender-balanced'

African Airlines Association (AFRAA) secretary general Abdérahmane Berthé commented on the need to close the gender gap in the aviation industry, stating: "There is a need to make the aviation industry more gender-balanced at the national, international and global levels". Mr Berthé added: "Investing in women and youth has a multiplier effect on productivity as well as sustainable growth". AFRAA is working to organise training for women in aviation and plans to create a fund to invest in skills development for African aviation professionals. AFRAA is also calling for African airlines to join IATA's '25by2025' initiative.

Queenstown Airport CEO: 'COVID-19 is not going away any time soon'

Queenstown Airport CEO Glen Sowry stated "COVID-19 is not going away any time soon", noting that the airport's "highest priority" is health, safety and security. Mr Sowry said alongside coronavirus vaccinations, "efficient and accessible testing is key to ensuring we get our economy moving and reconnected with the world, while keeping people safe".

Icelandair 'well prepared' for recovery following impacts of delta in 3Q2021

Icelandair president and CEO Bogi Nils Bogason stated the carrier is "well prepared for the months ahead", following a decline in bookings during Aug/Sep-2021 amid the impacts of the COVID-19 delta variant. Despite high fuel costs anticipated through 4Q2021, Mr Bogason said the company is confident in strong booking trends and is well positioned with "highly flexible operations, robust infrastructure and a strong liquidity position". He also noted the benefits of the US border reopening, allowing the carrier to target full network restoration for the first time since Mar-2020, and called for a review of Iceland's travel restrictions to support its position as a competitive tourist destination.

TTNQ CEO: Region recovery is 'in the hands of our community'

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen stated following the Queensland Government's announcement for the reopening of borders, "The onus is now on the community to get the borders to reopen and restart the region's AUD3.5 billion (USD2.6 billion) visitor economy". Mr Olsen said: "Our region's recovery, and the thousands of jobs hanging in the balance, are in the hands of our community" urging the community to "get vaccinated and help us to avoid lockdowns".

Dana Air MD calls for greater cooperation between government and private sector in Nigeria

Dana Air MD Jacky Hathiramani stated: "The role of the private sector cannot be overemphasised in creating wealth and prosperity and moving the country and its economy to greater heights". Mr Hathiramani added: "There is a need for a collaborative effort between the government, relevant stakeholders and the private sector towards addressing the constraints to value chain development".

ACI Europe: European airports facing investment crunch

ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec said Europe's airports are facing an "investment crunch", impacting their ability to finance decarbonisation and digitalisation. Mr Jankovec said airport revenues will remain insufficient to meet investment costs until "at least" 2032, adding: "the fact that 15 of the largest European airport operators have already cut down planned investment by nearly EUR14 billion between 2020 and 2033 is a warning bell".

AJW Technique CEO reports company plans to expand in eVTOL and drone markets

AJW Technique CEO Sajedah Rustom reported the company plans to expand in the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) and drone markets. Mr Rustom stated AJW Technique aims to "become service providers, logistics, parts suppliers, and strategic partners in such new endeavours". He added the MRO company's expansion into a franchise model will allow AJW Technique to offer repair and engineering services "with a proven model that works, offering products that iterate with market trends and changes".