Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

11 March, 2022

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 CFO: Increased fuel costs to be recovered through higher fares

Qantas Group CFO Vanessa Hudson said if higher fuel prices are to continue within the end of 2022, "the way in which Qantas has historically managed higher fuel prices is to recover that through higher fares". Ms Hudson said for the recovery through higher fares, there needs to be "strong underlying demand and also… relatively stable… and rational capacity, and right now we are seeing that". Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce reiterated if oil prices remain "at these levels, airfares are going to have to go up", and due to the oil increases, the group is to increase revenue per available seat kilometre by 7%. Mr Joyce added: "Seven per cent is not massive but it will have an impact on some levels of travel out there".

IAG to target 40% female representation in management positions 'for the next three years': CEO

IAG CEO Luis Gallego said the group will seek to achieve "40% representation of women in management positions for the next three years". Mr Gallego said the 33% representation in 2021 "already reached the goal... for 2025", allowing the company to expand its target.

Capital A CEO: 'Fares will be higher due to current higher oil prices'

Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes stated he believes demand from travellers will help the company cope with adverse impacts of the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. Mr Fernandes stated: "We are not worried about it at the moment because there's more demand than supply. More people want to fly than what we can put on [flights]". He said: "Fares will be higher due to current higher oil prices, but still relatively cheap due to declining COVID-19 test prices". Mr Fernandes added: "It will come down once the Russia-Ukraine conflict stabilises, plus there is also a lot of oil that hasn't been released yet and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies still produce the same capacity".

Lufthansa CEO: Avoidance of Russian airspace would increase monthly costs upwards of EUR1m

Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr warned the political and economic consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict "could affect business performance in ways that cannot yet be estimated". Mr Spohr highlighted rerouting flights to avoid Russian airspace could increase costs for Lufthansa by "a single digit million euro amount" monthly.

Perth Airport traffic recovery could take 'three plus years': CEO

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said airport officials "believe it's going to be three plus years" before the airport returns to 2019 pre-pandemic passenger traffic levels. Mr Brown added: "There's a long uphill battle ahead [and] the team are up for it... but we're competing in a global world, where there's a number of airlines that don't exist anymore that do have fewer planes in the air and the whole world is looking to reconnect".

Air Astana Group recovery quicker than expected: CEO

Air Astana CEO Peter Foster stated (09-Mar-2022) Air Astana Group recovered from the effects of the global pandemic far quicker than expected. Mr Foster said: "Domestic traffic was strong and FlyArystan, in what is effectively its first full year of operation given that 2020 was partially a write off, posted very strong growth and a small profit". Mr Foster added regional international yields firmed, and new lifestyle routes to tourist destinations exceeded all expectations.

ACCC will not oppose CTM's proposed acquisition of Helloworld Corporate Travel Management

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stated (03-Mar-2022) it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Helloworld Travel's corporate travel management division (Helloworld Corporate) by Corporate Travel Management (CTM). The ACCC conducted a review of the acquisition, primarily focused on competition for large corporate and government customers, as this is where CTM and Helloworld Corporate compete most closely. The deal was "unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition", said ACCC chair Rod Sims, as there were a range of competitors that would be capable of servicing the needs of large customers.

Estafeta CEO: San Luis Potosi Airport hub 'one of the most important' air hub locations

Estafeta CEO Ingo Babrikowski stated the carrier's air hub at San Luis Potosi Airport "is one of the most important [air hub locations]" due to the volume of air operations, in addition to its location and strategic facilities in close proximity to the hub. Mr Babrikowski added throughout 2022 the carrier aims to respond to e-commerce demand generated in Mexico, up 6% year-on-year.

Denver International Airport 'actively pursuing flights' to Africa: CEO

Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington said the airport is "actively pursuing flights to the continent of Africa" as part of its economic strategy and that he believes "we will see that in the next couple of years". Mr Washington also said there will be immense benefit to opening up to the continent, adding: "the opportunity for our local businesses… to do business on the continent of Africa is incredible".