Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

5 August, 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.

FCTG CEO: Australian Domestic travel disruptions to ease by Oct/Nov-2022

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) MD and CEO Graham Turner said on a domestic level, despite changes, delays and service cancellations, "generally, most people are getting away and getting to their destination". Mr Turner said assuming an easing in coronavirus Omicron infections, by Oct-2022 and Nov-2022, domestic aeronautical services are expected to improve.

Immigration New Zealand 'not expecting the same level of demand we saw pre-Covid'

Immigration New Zealand's 'Reconnecting New Zealand' head Simon Sanders said "it's safe to say we're not expecting the same level of demand we saw pre-Covid", following the easing of border restrictions in New Zealand, adding "That's probably for a number of reasons". Mr Sanders noted China is "a larger visitor visa-required country", and "is still subject to a range of travel restrictions so we're not expecting large demand from there".

Jetstar CEO: A321LR 'opens up opportunities to expand our international network'

Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said its A321LR "has a greater flying range than Jetstar's current A320 fleet, which opens up opportunities to expand our international network across the Asia-Pacific region". The carrier plans to operate the aircraft initially on its Melbourne-Cairns route, with a second service with the aircraft type to be launched on 01-Sep-2022 from Melbourne to the Gold Coast.

Air Canada corporate travel revenue at 60% of pre-pandemic levels in Jun-2022: CCO

Air Canada EVP and CCO Lucie Guillemette reported the carrier's corporate travel revenue recovered to over 60% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of Jun-2022. Ms Guillemette added Air Canada expects corporate traffic to continue its rebound in Sep-2022, building on Jun-2022 performance. Ms Guillemette stated the carrier is "confident" corporate travels will return by 2023/early 2024.

IndiGo records 'highest ever quarterly revenue' in Q1FY2023: CEO

IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta, commenting on the LCC's Q1FY2023 financial results, stated "We had an impressive quarter in terms of revenue performance with the highest ever capacity, highest ever revenue, highest ever yields and highest ever unit revenue". Mr Dutta further stated: "Unfortunately, the spike in fuel prices coupled with the depreciating rupee prevented us from translating this strong revenue performance into net profitability" during the quarter, but noted a significant decline in the LCC's net loss in Q1FY2023 relative to Q4FY2022 and Q1FY2022.

JetBlue Airways: TrueBlue loyalty programme resonating 'extremely well' with customers

JetBlue Airways president and COO Joanna Geraghty stated the value proposition of the carrier's TrueBlue loyalty programme continues to "resonate extremely well with our customers", adding programme engagement is at "all time highs". Ms Geraghty said spend growth continues to "consistently and meaningfully" exceed pre-pandemic levels, up over 40% year-on-three. She noted: "This is an area with ample runway for growth and our team continues to find new ways to add further value as we evolve the programmes and enhance this resilient cash flow stream".

Tourism Authority of Kiribati CEO: Sustainable tourism 'a necessary means'

Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) chair of the Small Island States and Territories Board Sub Committee and CEO of the Tourism Authority of Kiribati Petero Manufolau stated: "Being party to the Glasgow Declaration will help the Pacific tourism prepare for a smart restart to tourism where value over volume will be a priority and where tourism businesses will operate along international sustainable standards and guidelines". Mr Manufolau said: "Sustainable tourism therefore is no longer an option for us but a necessary means to fulfilling our commitment to a more responsible way of managing the tourism sector", with climate change posing a "significant threat to marine and coastal tourism and as a destination made up of 99% Ocean, Kiribati is vulnerable to these threats".

Lufthansa Group CCO: 95% of summer 2022 programme to take place as planned

Lufthansa Group chief commercial officer Stefan Kreuzpaintner stated he expects "99% of all Lufthansa Group holiday flights and 95% of the entire flight programme" to take place as planned in summer 2022. The group previously had to cancel over 1000 flights from Munich and Frankfurt due to a strike on 27-Jul-2022. Mr Kreuzpaintner also added he expects ticket prices to rise and said "the price development of kerosene is a major cost driver for all airlines" adding "Unfortunately, we cannot avoid passing this price increase on to customers".

Malaysia Airports not experiencing serious staff shortages: MD

Malaysia Airports (MAHB) MD Iskandar Mizal Mahmood stated MAHB is not experiencing serious staff shortages, particularly at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Mr Iskander said this is due to the airport retaining all of its 10,000 workforce during the pandemic period. He added: "As far as MAHB is concerned, during the pandemic we took the long term view or I would say there was wisdom into making the decision of not shedding any of our staff".

ENAC president: Low cost era is over

ENAC president Pierluigi Di Palma, commenting on whether the low cost model is changing, stated "the low cost era is over". Mr Di Palma said LCC's "knew better than others to deal with the rules made 30 years ago", however believes the system today "has to deal with a different world".

Air France-KLM CEO welcomes 'better than expected' 2Q2022 results

Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith highlighted 2Q2022 revenues [EUR6707 million] and operating results [EUR386 million] were "better than expected". The carrier outlined despite "summer [2022] growth anticipation efforts" since Jan-2022, operational difficulties arose in Europe and the US, "mainly due to labour shortages at airports". The group highlighted the challenges resulted into EUR70 million additional compensation costs for 2Q2022.

Ryanair Group CEO: European consolidation will see four remaining airlines by 2025

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary projected consolidation of airlines in Europe will leave only Air France-KLM, IAG, Lufthansa and Ryanair by 2025. Mr O'Leary added the LCC would normally see a "double digit price drop" in airfares given the current demand environment, but it instead expecting "double digit growth" in 2022.

Ibom Air COO: Lack of airport facilities for night operations costs Nigerian airlines USD10m p/a

Ibom Air COO George Uriesi estimated the lack of facilities to enable night operations at many Nigerian airports costs airlines NGN4 million (USD9376) per flight and NGN4.3 billion (USD10.1 million) p/a. Mr Uriesi said the limitations result in relatively low fleet utilisation. Mr Uriesi said operational restrictions also include "limited runway availability across the domestic network, multiple operational infrastructure deficiencies, poor organisation and many others".