Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

24 December, 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. 

Qantas Group 'extremely optimistic' due to 'huge, pent-up demand for face-to-face connections'

Qantas Group chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said the company is "extremely optimistic" for leisure and business travel due to "huge, pent-up demand for face-to-face connections". Ms Tully said: "Flexibility has been key", as well the carriers 'Fly Well' programme and safety initiatives. Ms Tully cited the need for the carrier to get its passengers "customers feeling really confident to book and confident to fly", with the carrier managing "the safety aspects well".

Airbus chief commercial officer: 'I wish I had more aeroplanes to sell'

Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer said: "I wish I had more aeroplanes to sell", adding "There is a supply constraint for the most desirable assets out there". Mr Scherer highlighted this for A320, A321 and A220 equipment. Mr Scherer added: "The Covid crisis has accelerated the realisation that the transition to more... fuel-efficient technology is inevitable".

Southwest Airlines CEO: Masks 'don't add much' to COVID-19 prevention in aircraft cabins

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly stated face masks "don't add much" to the safety of the aircraft cabin within the COVID-19 environment. Mr Kelly made the claim while testifying before the US Senate Commerce Commitee regarding government funding received by the aviation industry during COVID-19. He added 99.97% of airborne pathogens are captured by HEPA air cabin filtration systems, noting the air cabin environment is "very high quality compared to any other indoor environment".

SAS to deploy A321LRs 'soon', considers use from secondary bases

SAS CEO Anko van der Werff outlined plans to commence A321LR operations "fairly soon" in 2022. He commented: "We'll have to see what that aircraft can really do for us, but that would be such a tool that you could then use out of secondary cities and become more relevant".

Perth Airport CEO: Perth service volumes not expected to reach pre-coronavirus levels 'very quickly'

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said he does not expect traffic "getting back to where we were pre-COVID very quickly". Mr Brown said it "might still see a couple of years" for domestic service volumes to return to pre-coronavirus levels, while "internationally, perhaps a bit longer".

Delta Air Lines president: Transatlantic services at 85% of prepandemic levels, transpacific at 40%

Delta Air Lines president Glen Hauenstein reportedly stated the carrier's trans-Atlantic summer 2022 schedule has recovered to 85% of pre-COVID-19 levels. Mr Hauenstein added the carrier "could go several points over" 85%, dependent on demand. He stated scheduled trans-Pacific services have only recovered to 30%-40% of pre-pandemic levels due to ongoing travel restrictions and market uncertainty in the Asia Pacific.

IndiGo aims to address 'long standing problem' of high indirect taxes

IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta reported the LCC is "working with other players in the industry and the civil aviation ministry to address [the] long standing problem" of high indirect taxes. Mr Dutta noted: "We pay over 21% of our revenues as indirect taxes to the government", adding "We think it is unconscionable that a critical infrastructure industry such as aviation, with its large multiplier effects in employment, should be taxed at such a high rate".

Lynx Air won't offer IFE or connectivity, will operate 'a la carte' pricing model, says CEO

Lynx Air president and CEO Merren McArthur outlined the ULCC's planned operating model, stating Lynx will operate an "à la carte pricing" model in which customers "will only pay for the products and services they want, saving money on the trip so they can spend more at their destination". Ms McArthur stated the carrier will not offer inflight entertainment (IFE) or connectivity as it is "costly to install and operate, and we do not believe customers value connectivity enough to pay for it".

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines DG: 'most governments' pursing COVID normal strategy

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines DG Subhas Menon said "most governments" within the region are "pursing a COVID normal strategy". Mr Menon said AAPA is "quite hopeful" that travel recovery will take place, adding carriers are looking to operate 30% to 40% of 2019 levels.

New Plymouth Airport CEO: 'I’ve never known it to be so hard to predict'

New Plymouth Airport CEO David Scott said: "In all my years in the aviation industry, I've never known it to be so hard to predict", with select airport tenants shutting. The airport's traffic decreased due to delta outbreaks of coronavirus, with FY2021 resulting in a net loss of NZD754,000 (USD512,493).

MAA CEO: 'there is still no consensus yet... to reaching Jet Zero emissions targets by 2050'

Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA) CEO Andrew Mair stated "there is still no consensus yet over which technology pathways will be critical to reaching Jet Zero emissions targets by 2050". Mr Mair said: "Sustainability will create a new era for aerospace", with new ways to fly, design and manufacture aircraft to be realised". Mr Mair added: "We need to continue to work together to address our industry's technology challenges, at the same time creating continuing opportunities for business success and rewarding employment".