Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

19 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.

Auckland Airport CEO: 'our recovery is now well underway'

Auckland International Airport CEO Carrie Hurihanganui stated "After two years of disruption, careful cost management and perseverance from the team at Auckland Airport our recovery is now well underway". Ms Hurihanganui said uncertainty remains regarding "the shape of recovery ahead with global operational challenges", which include "labour shortages, currently constraining the system's capacity". Ms Hurihanganui added: "Auckland Airport continues to take a long-term view and we remain optimistic about the future with the strong global appetite that exists for travel alongside Auckland's position as a key aviation hub in the South Pacific".

Cathay Pacific chairman says Hong Kong fallen 'far' behind regional competitors

Cathay Pacific chairman Patrick Healy stated it is quite clear that Hong Kong has fallen "far" behind other international aviation hubs in the short term, adding that its regional competitors have recovered much faster from the disruptions caused by the global pandemic.

Australian Tourism Export Council MD: 'our recovery is going to be much slower than anticipated'

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) MD Peter Shelley stated "Australia has always been at the top of the bucket list for many global travellers and our contacts are saying that sentiment hasn't changed but what has changed is the urgency to travel here". Mr Shelley added: "Despite a positive uptick in booking pipelines and Australia's desirability as a destination, the reality is our recovery is going to be much slower than anticipated due to our distance and relative cost from some of our key markets". ATEC's member 'Pulse' survey also highlighted "a widening gap between slowing domestic tourism business off the back of growing outbound travel", as well as "inadequate inbound visitation to top up a growing shortfall, with nearly 40% of tourism product suppliers revealing their domestic business has already slowed and that inbound is not closing the gap".

Ryanair Group CEO: 'Really cheap promotional fares' won't return 'for the next number of years'

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary said he does not believe the carrier's "really cheap promotional fares" of EUR0.99 and EUR9.99 will become available again "for the next number of years". Mr O'Leary added: "We think people will continue to fly frequently. But I think people are going to become much more price sensitive and therefore my view of life is that people will trade down in their many millions".

QAC board chair: 'we are cautiously confident that we have now entered a sustained recovery period'

Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) board chair Adrienne Young-Cooper stated "After operating for more than two years in the complex environment created by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the related global and national response we are cautiously confident that we have now entered a sustained recovery period". Ms Young-Cooper said the airports "fundamentals and operating capabilities remain strong", and is "focused on supporting the recovery of the Southern Lakes region and the businesses operating at Queenstown Airport".

SAS CEO: Restructuring not a 'luxury option'

SAS president and CEO Anko van der Werff said the decision to seek US bankruptcy protection and restructure the airline was taken as the business has "not reached its full potential in the last few years", adding "we need to make sure that it is future proof". Mr van der Werff stated the restructuring "is not a luxury option" and indicates "how serious we are about transforming this business". Mr van der Werff highlighted that to ensure its viability the group is doing three things, including "lowering costs, making sure the balance sheet is okay, and raising almost USD1 billion in new equity".

AerCap CEO reports 'strong results' for 2Q2022 amid 'favourable leasing environment'

AerCap Holdings CEO Aengus Kelly reported "strong results" for 2Q2022, "with a significant increase in activity across all of our businesses". Mr Kelly said: "The ongoing recovery in air travel continued to strengthen across all major regions, and was manifested in high levels of cash collections and greater utilisation of our fleet during the quarter. The strength in passenger demand, coupled with supply constraints across the industry, is resulting in a favourable leasing environment".

Travelmarket CEO: Danish airfares defying inflation and fuel price increases

Travelmarket CEO Ole Stouby stated cheap airfares from Denmark to European travel destinations "continue to defy the general price increase in society" noting it is particularly "surprising" when taking "general inflation and the increasing fuel prices into consideration". Mr Stouby highlighted the reduced cost "is due to the fiercely fierce competition that exists among the airlines in Europe, and in particular among the low cost airlines". According to Travelmarket, the average prices for plane tickets from Copenhagen or Billund to Europe are "clearly cheaper" than the pre-pandemic period, which prices only reaching cheaper levels in 2021.

Ibom Air COO: Nigerian airlines to face 'a breaking point' if costs keep increasing

Ibom Air COO George Uriesi described conditions in the Nigerian aviation industry as "almost a touch and go situation" due to rising costs. Mr Uriesi said that if costs continue to increase, "there will be a breaking point for everybody".

Norse Atlantic Airways CEO: August has been very strong

Norse Atlantic Airways CEO Bjorn Tore Larsen stated: "August has been very strong, but looking forward we have also seen very good numbers into the autumn". Mr Larsen said the carrier aims to achieve profitability in 2023 and plans to have its 15 Boeing 787s fully deployed in 2024.

AIA CEO: Inflation Reduction Act 'encourages' development of sustainable aviation technologies

Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO Eric Fanning stated US Senate's passing of the Inflation Reduction Act "...encourages and supports advancements in next generation green aviation technologies and products, including sustainable aviation fuels through the Blenders Tax Credit". Mr Fanning added the advancements "will play a critical role in enabling a more sustainable aviation system now and in the future".

Globalia president: IAG will not acquire seats on the Air Europa board

Globalia president Juan Jose Hidalgo stated IAG will not acquire any seats on the Air Europa board, citing competition reasons previously flagged by the European Commission. Mr Hidalgo said: "Brussels made it very clear that it [IAG] could not be in the management of Air Europa because it wants us to be competitors, not a monopoly in Spain". As previously reported by CAPA, IAG has exercised its option to exchange its seven year EUR100 million unsecured loan to Globalia for a 20% stake in Air Europa.