Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

25 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. 

KAYAK: Increasing fuel prices will impact airfares in summer 2022

KAYAK stated increasing jet fuel prices are "going to start impacting the price of summer airfares". CEO Steve Hafner stated: "Travel will likely cost more this spring and summer from pent-up demand. KAYAK search data shows flight prices up 21% for domestic travel over spring break".

Air New Zealand CEO: 'to get the Tasman back, gets us back on our feet'

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said "to get the Tasman back, gets us back on our feet", and the resumption of services from other countries from May-2022 "will make a big difference". Mr Foran said bookings have been "gradually" increasing, with a "good mixture" of inbound and outbound passengers.

Delta Air Lines: Adding fuel surcharge 'no question' due to rising oil prices

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian stated imposing fuel surcharges on international and domestic flights is "no question" due to rising oil prices. Mr Bastian said it "really depends where fuel prices settle". He added on a domestic US flight the rise in fuel prices "is probably about [USD25] on a ticket, that could be anywhere between 5% to 10% at these high levels of oil... and international [flights] will be a bit higher than that".

Greater Bay Airlines waiting for Hong Kong to lift quarantine before committing to launch date: CEO

Greater Bay Airlines CEO Algernon Yau stated the airline plans to wait until Hong Kong's two week hotel quarantine requirement for arrivals is lifted before committing to a firm launch date. Mr Yau said the carrier would require notice of "around three months" to secure traffic rights and airport slots. Mr Yau expects the airline to operate a fleet of three aircraft in 2022 and potentially add two more aircraft in 2H2023.

Lessor insurance claims for aircraft stuck in Russia could be 'staggering': Marsh head of aviation

Marsh global head of aviation and space Garrett Hanrahan commented on potential insurance claims by aircraft lessors for aircraft that cannot be returned from Russia, stating: "The magnitude of potential loss here is staggering". Mr Hanrahan added: "This could potentially be the biggest aviation insurance loss in market history".

Aegean Airlines CEO: Demand for Greece's tourist product is particularly strong

Aegean Airlines CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis stated the aviation sector expects a significant recovery in 2022, and labelled the demand for Greece's tourist product "particularly strong". Mr Gerogiannis noted the Russia/Ukraine has affected fuel prices, but outlined the carrier "has accelerated its investment programme in new technology aircraft which will reduce the impact of the increase of fuel prices". The carrier plans to gradually restore its pre-pandemic capacity levels for the summer 2022 period, whilst also adding new services, destinations and products.

Southwest Airlines has 'ample growth opportunities' upon resolving staffing shortages, says CFO

Southwest Airlines CFO Tammy Romo stated the carrier has "ample growth opportunities" upon resolving staffing shortages, which are limiting the carrier's short term growth potential. Ms Romo added the carrier is aware of "pent-up demand in the markets we were serving pre-pandemic", and the airline is "really encouraged by [the 2022 summer demand] we are seeing thus far". Southwest Airlines is planning to hire 8000 new staff by the end of 2022, aiming to exceed pre-pandemic capacity levels in 2023.

Aviation industry 'needs to up its game on sustainability': HACTL CEO

HACTL CEO Wilson Kwong said the aviation industry "as a whole needs to up its game on sustainability". Mr Kwong added: "There are some areas - such as how we power our aircraft - where improvements are going to take a long time and a lot of technological advances... Meanwhile, on the ground, we do have the opportunity to play our part in improvements. Recent developments in ramp equipment and road vehicles are encouraging, but there is still a long way to go, and the speed of progress needs to increase".

Frontier Airlines CEO: Spirit Airlines merger 'is good for consumers'

Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle addressed US lawmakers' call for the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and Department of Transportation (DoT) to revise Frontier Airlines' planned merger with Spirit Airlines. In response to anti-competition and worker leverage concerns raised by lawmakers including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Mr Biffle stated the carriers "disagree that [the merger] is negative for consumers… We think this is good for consumers", highlighting the carriers only control one of the top 50 airports in the US. Mr Biffle added the airport in question, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, offers the lowest airfares of the US' 50 metropolitan airports.

Aurigny Air Services CEO: GBP2 to GBP4 increases in ticket prices could be 'realistically accepted'

Aurigny Air Services CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said he could see GBP2 to GBP4 increases "in average ticket prices being quite realistically accepted" as a result of the globally rising cost of oil. Mr Bezuidenhout also said he believes the removal of the Embraer aircraft in the carrier's fleet would save the airline GBP700,000 p/a, with a review of the aircraft's status to be conducted in coming months.