Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

12 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.

Air New Zealand sets 'critical milestone' target to reduce carbon emissions by 2030

Air New Zealand set an interim target to reduce carbon emissions by 2030, requiring a 28.9% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, from a 2019 baseline. This equates to a 16.3% reduction in absolute emissions over the period. Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and safety officer David Morgan stated the target is a "critical milestone" to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as it "provides a clear signal of where we need to be by 2030, in order to meet the 2050 goal". Mr Morgan added: "Implementing our decarbonisation roadmap will be critical to achieving this target - with sustainable aviation fuel, continued fleet renewal, operational efficiency, and zero emissions aircraft technologies all playing a role".

Ryanair CEO: ATC 'is the culprit' of European service disruption

Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said the major factor impacting aviation markets in Europe is air traffic control. Mr Wilson reported 20% of the LCC's services have been delayed during summer 2022, adding: "Whether you've enough staff or you're an airline that doesn't have enough staff, [ATC] is the culprit." Mr Wilson said ATC organisations in Germany and France have been particularly understaffed and that if Europe could "sort out ATC, that would give airlines a fighting chance". Mr Wilson concluded: "It's going to continue into next summer unless the German and the French governments adequately resource their ATC facilities. It is the infrastructure and it needs to be fixed".

Spirit Airlines CFO: Current industry infrastructure too 'unstable' to support growth

Spirit Airlines SVP and CFO Scott Haralson stated the carrier has added 20% more aircraft, 30% more pilots and 17% more cabin crew since the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020. Mr Haralson noted current infrastructure remains unstable, hence the carrier is unsure if higher levels of aircraft utilisation can be supported. Mr Haralson highlighted ATC and US TSA labour shortages, as well as higher crew attrition, have prevented Spirit from increasing utilisation as rapidly as hoped.

Grupo SATA chairman calls for government to privatise Azores Airlines 'as soon as possible'

Grupo SATA chairman Luís Rodrigues stated the Azores Government has until 2025 to privatise 51% of Azores Airlines but called for the privatisation to occur "as soon as possible". Mr Rodrigues said the SATA board supports the privatisation as "it is the only way for the company to grow", adding that as long as the company remains public shareholders will be unable to capitalise on growth opportunities in areas such as networks, maintenance, training, shared services and handling.

Cathay Pacific liquidity at 'healthy level' at the end of 1H2022: Chairman

Cathay Pacific chairman Patrick Healy stated the group's liquidity balance remains at a "healthy level", with available unrestricted liquidity at HKD26.7 billion (USD3.4 billion) as of 30-Jun-2022. Hong Kong's Government agreed to extend the drawdown period of the company's HKD7.8 billion (USD994.1 million) bridge loan facility for a further 12 months to 08-Jun-2023.

PLAY CEO: Unit revenue rising and future booking flow strong

PLAY reported positive traffic developments in Jul-2022 were "primarily due to the addition of the transatlantic hub and spoke model connecting cities in Europe and the US". New destinations were launched in spring 2022 and summer 2022 and existing destinations in Europe recorded "very positive development ". Load factor increased to 87.9% in Jul-2022 compared to 79.2% in Jun-2022 and 69.6% in May-2022. PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson commented: "We continue to see our unit cost (excluding fuel CASK) being below our targeted USD0.04, fuel prices are decreasing, unit revenue (RASK) is rising, and our future booking flow is strong".

JetBlue Airways 'over-hiring' staff to retain sustainable employee base: CEO

JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes stated the carrier must "over-hire" staff in order to retain a sustainable employee base. Mr Hayes noted the staffing approach allows the carrier to ensure it can meet demand amid ongoing operational challenges and shortages. Mr Hayes added the carrier lost a number of experienced personnel during COVID-19 and attrition rates have increased amid the unstable economic environment. He reported that by the end of 2022, 50% of JetBlue employees will have been employed at the airline for less than two years.

Airlink executive manager: Women in aviation leadership will deliver 'transformation and inclusion'

Airlink (South Africa) executive manager sales and marketing Carla da Silva stated: "Women remain significantly under represented in most fields in aviation". Ms da Silva said that while women "run" many aviation and travel companies in operational roles, the representation of women in leadership roles "is still lacking". Ms da Silva commented: "When we have more women getting into that leadership space you will also see transformation and inclusion, from a gender perspective, across the value chain". She highlighted flexibility for parents and remote working as important factors in attracting women to aviation roles.