Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

22 July, 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 Domestic/International CEO: On time performance 'well below… what our customers expect of us'

Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David said: "We're not delivering the kind of performance… that we were delivering pre covid". Mr David added: "It has been a challenge", however it has gotten "better" with decreased call centre wait times and mishandled baggage rates "close" to pre pandemic levels, however on time performance remains "well below… what our customers expect of us".

Emirates president predicts air travel industry to return to equilibrium in 2023

Emirates president Tim Clark stated the air travel industry would return to equilibrium in 2023, with airlines and airports having to "tough it out" in the meantime. Sir Tim noted ongoing disruptions across Europe, condemning London Heathrow Airport managers for not forecasting travel rebounds earlier and planning accordingly.

ITA Airways CEO says it's time for politics to 'make its choice' on carrier's future

Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways) CEO Fabio Lazzerini stated the company "has been made safe" highlighting it has managed the travel recovery which in other places "created confusion and damage". Mr Lazzerini said the carrier's current size as a start-up has enabled it to be flexible and react quicker to the Omicron crisis, followed by the contrasting explosion of demand. Mr Lazzerini added that protecting and giving the company a future "is our job" and now "politics has to make its choice". As previously reported by CAPA, Italy's Government is currently reviewing purchase offers submitted for the carrier, with MSC/Lufthansa and investment fund Certares reported as the interested parties.

airBaltic introduces new Business Light fare to increase competitiveness in the European aviation market

airBaltic introduced a new Business Light fare, offering passengers a full onboard business class experience as well as select flexibility options for a more affordable price. Business Light passengers receive a dedicated, personal service, a seasonal three course meal, check in at a separate registration counter, fast track service and business lounge access. CEO Martin Gauss said: "The newly introduced ticket type provides the passenger all of the services traditionally associated with business class, and will increase our competitiveness in the European aviation market".

SAS CEO: Pilot strike puts 'the survival of the company at stake'

SAS reported the ongoing pilot strike has had an "estimated effect" on the "overall financial position" of the airline of between SEK1 billion (USD94.6 million) and SEK1.3 billion (USD123 million) since commencing on 04-Jul-2022. The carrier said the strike threatens its ability to "successfully raise critically needed near-term and long-term capital" to fund its reorganisation, adding that continuance of the strikes may jeopardise its ability to access debtor in possession (DIP) financing to continue operations. SAS president and CEO Anko van der Werff stated: "The strike is putting the success of the chapter 11 process and, ultimately, the survival of the company at stake".

Heathrow management should have anticipated high demand, taken mitigating action: Qatar Airways CEO

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker stated London Heathrow Airport management should have anticipated high travel demand for summer 2022 and taken mitigating actions. Mr Al Baker noted he "does not mind" reducing passenger numbers, however requests to do so should be made months in advance to accommodate and communicate with passengers ahead of time.

AASA CEO: Cost of launching international services a major challenge for African airlines

Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) CEO Aaron Munetsi stated "the prohibitively high cost of starting operations in other countries" is one of the "biggest challenges" for African airlines. Mr Munetsi particularly highlighted the cost of securing foreign operator permits. He said AASA is advocating the mutual recognition of each country's aviation regulation to make the permit process "faster and less expensive". Mr Munetsi commented: "The principle of reciprocity must apply in order for us to level the playing field for all our airlines".

TAP Air Portugal CEO forecasts Portugal has already reached its peak of flight cancellations

TAP Air Portugal CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener stated flight cancellations at Portugal's airports "have already reached their peak" in Jul-2022, and does not expect the situation to worsen in Aug-2022. Ms Ourmières-Widener added "Lisbon is recovering faster than other airports" and noted improvement has already been recorded over the previous two weeks.

Air Greenland CEO: Ticket sales still above 2019 levels

Air Greenland CEO Jacob Nitter Sørensen stated the carrier is currently "above the 2019 level for plane ticket sales". Mr Sørensen added there is "still a lot of demand for travel", following a significant increase in travellers in 2H2021 after "a year and a half of travel restrictions". Mr Sørensen noted however that the carrier has "been hit by great irregularity" due to weather issues which have continued in the summer 2022 schedule, and expects this to be reflected in the carrier's half yearly report.