Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

16 September, 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.

Capital A CEO: Philippines and Indonesia operations to fully recover by 1Q2023

Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes stated the group aims to expand operations in the Philippines and Indonesia beyond their pre pandemic levels by 1Q2022. Mr Fernandes noted despite its positive outlook for the Philippines and Indonesia, it will not reduce its fleet operations in Malaysia and Thailand. He said: "We need the aircraft in Malaysia and Thailand; it is just that Indonesia and the Philippines are really growing very well and we want to grow them to a bigger size".

Qantas chairman: Service levels will be 'back to our best' by Oct-2022

Qantas Airways chairman Richard Goyder stated the carrier's service levels improved back towards pre-COVID standards in Aug-2022 and improved further into Sep-2022. He added by Oct-2022, the carrier expects to be "back to our best". Mr Goyder said: "We don't shy away from the service failures that happened as the airline restarted. But any reasonable assessment has to start with looking around the world and Australia to see how Qantas compares in an industry that's working incredibly hard to get back on its feet. He added: "We'll continue that hard work to meet the high standards all stakeholders expect from us".

Virgin Australia Group CEO 'really pleased' with short haul international business

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, stated the carrier is "really pleased" with its short haul international business, noting the short haul network "makes sense" and there is room to "continue to grow". Ms Hrdlicka said the "long haul business was a problem", noting the airline serves "the needs of our guests", with the carrier establishing a network of partnerships to ensure passengers long haul requirements are met.

Air Niugini CEO: Papua New Guinea tourism 'never really had much to lose during covid'

Air Niugini CEO Bruce Alabaster stated the Pacific is "effectively split into two" in regards to tourism based countries and associated demand, with 0.2% of Papua New Guinea's GDP being tourism based. Mr Alabaster said Papua New Guinea's tourism industry has grown off the resource industry, noting tourism "never really had much to lose during covid". Mr Alabaster stated what tourism has been lost, has been returning relatively "quickly".

IATA director general: 'It will take some time for Hong Kong to recover' from travel restrictions

IATA director general Willie Walsh commented on travel restrictions in Hong Kong, stating: "It is disappointing to see the restrictions continue". Mr Walsh said: "I think a lot of that activity has now gone to other hubs where restrictions don't apply. It will take some time for Hong Kong to recover. It will very much depend on the rate at which Cathay Pacific, in particular, rebuilds its network". He added: "A lot of airlines will not bring any capacity to the market until they see clear evidence that the restrictions are being removed. More importantly, airlines need to be convinced that the restrictions are being removed and will not be reintroduced".

Lufthansa CEO expects airline ticket prices will not return to pre-pandemic levels

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said he expects airline ticket prices "will never" return to pre-pandemic levels. Mr Spohr instead expects "very stable or maybe even rising ticket prices in the next few years".

Japan Airlines VP: Passenger load factor on London services high despite extended flight times

Japan Airlines VP strategy research - Asia Oceania region Akihide Yoguchi, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, stated the carrier no longer flies in Siberian airspace as a result of Russian airspace closures following its invasion of Ukraine. Mr Yoguchi reported the carrier must now fly over the North Pole, adding four hours to the carrier's London service. Mr Yoguchi noted this has been "very costly", as the carrier also requires additional crew to cover rest periods, however passenger load factors have remained consistently high due to pent-up demand and low competition.

TUI Germany CEO: Travel remains a high priority despite rising living costs

TUI Germany CEO Stefan Baumert stated "travel remains a high priority for people even in times of rising cost of living". Mr Baumert cited a YouGov poll highlighting 75% of Germans want to travel in winter 2022/2023, with the major focus of holidaymakers on discounts rather than alternative forms of travel. Mr Baumert expects inexpensive travel destinations with large all-inclusive offers to benefit, as well as package tours.

Uganda Airlines 'changing our strategy', targeting profitability in five to seven years: CEO

Uganda Airlines CEO Jenifer Bamuturaki stated the airline is "changing our strategy". Ms Bamuturaki commented: "We are looking at launching routes that can increase our profitability. We are looking at being profitable in about five to seven years as projected on our business plan. If we can achieve it earlier, the better". She added: "We also have the opportunity for cargo". Ms also stated: "We are behind schedule due to the pandemic... So we are trying to pick up".