Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

10 June, 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.

ACCC commissioner: 'Historically high prices for jet fuel means we are starting to see fares rise'

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commissioner Anna Brakey, in the ACCC's 'Airline Competition in Australia' report, stated. "While travellers have benefitted from generally low airfares over the past year as airlines encouraged people back to the sky, historically high prices for jet fuel means we are starting to see fares rise again". Ms Brakey said airline prices will be monitored, with the ACCC "looking out for conduct that may harm competition to the detriment of consumers", adding: "will be increasingly relevant as the industry enters a more stable period after the disruption caused by COVID-19".

Bamboo Airways to make Vietnam a 'crucial gateway' in ASEAN: CEO

Bamboo Airways CEO and chairman Dang Tat Thang stated the carrier has made "relentless efforts to operate an expansive international network covering every continent". Mr Thang added: "We have gradually realised this goal with many long haul routes to Asia Pacific, Europe and further to the US in the future". He added: "With this development strategy, we aim to make Vietnam a crucial gateway in ASEAN region, thus leveraging our country's competitiveness and meeting air travel demands of Vietnamese diaspora, overseas students, and international tourists".

WestJet CEO: Vaccine mandate for air travellers and airline employees 'needs to be dropped'

WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech stated the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for air travellers and airline employees "needs to be dropped". Mr von Hoensbroech maintained vaccines have not prevented the spread of COVID-19 since the outbreak of the Omicron variant, hence there is no logic to maintain the requirement. He added removal of the mandate will relax some airport operational challenges.

SAS CEO: Ticket sales 'positive' ahead of summer 2022 peak

SAS president and CEO Anko van der Werff stated the carrier is continuing its operational ramp up with "overall ticket sales positive" ahead of the summer 2022 peak. Mr van der Werff noted "the whole aviation ecosystem is currently faced with challenges", and added SAS has made proactive adjustments to its traffic programme to minimise the operational risk for summer 2022.

American Airlines CEO: Almost 100 regional aircraft parked due to pilot shortage

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom reported the carrier has pulled almost 100 regional aircraft from service due to the ongoing pilot shortage. Mr Isom stated: "There is a supply and demand imbalance right now", adding there are "constraints out there in terms of aircraft [and] around pilots".

Ryanair Group CEO: UK Government should deploy army personnel at airports

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary said the UK Government should deploy army personnel at airports during weekends for "three to four months" to "relieve the pressure on airport security" during the current period of disrupted service.

United Airlines CEO: Airfares returning to 'normal' pricing

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby stated airfares are returning to "normal pricing" following record low levels due to COVID-19. Mr Kirby added there is "not a hint of evidence" that rising airfares are negatively impacting consumer demand, noting "it feels like high pricing today because we're comparing to an artificial low coming off the pandemic". 

EVA Air president: Fares likely to increase as fuel and other costs rise

EVA Air president Clay Sun stated airlines are likely to increase fares or add fuel surcharges to ticket prices in the coming months as aviation fuel prices and operating costs continue to increase. Fuel prices are averaging around USD120 to USD150 per barrel, according to Mr Sun. He also said that although demand for air travel is expected to increase as COVID-19 restrictions ease around the world, airlines are facing higher operating costs, including ground handling rates, due to rising inflation.

Delta CEO: Airline 'not going to grow anymore' following improved 2Q2022 revenue outlook

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian stated the carrier is at the point where it is "not going to grow anymore" through the end of 2022. This follows the airline revising its 2Q2022 outlook, which now forecasts revenue to return to 2Q2019 levels, compared to previous guidance of down 3% to 7%.

UNWTO: Tourism industry 'united and determined like never before'

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili stated the tourism industry is "united and determined like never before", adding UNWTO is "guiding it forward, with inclusivity and sustainability at the very heart of all our work". Mr Pololikashvili added: "We have faced up to a triple crisis: an ongoing pandemic, a climate emergency and now the return of war in Europe". UNWTO has laid out plans to prioritise fostering sustainability, promoting tourism jobs and education, growing tourism investments and accelerating its digital transformation.

Alaska Airlines set to record profit for 2022 despite rising jet fuel costs: CEO

Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci stated the carrier is on track to record a profit in 2022, despite record fuel prices and labour market constraints. Mr Minicucci added demand is "amazingly strong" with "no abatement", while business travel is recovering at almost 80% of pre pandemic levels.