Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

14 October, 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.

TAP Air Portugal CEO outlines inflation, fuel price and demand concerns

TAP Air Portugal CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener labelled rapidly increasing inflation and fuel prices, as well as uncertainties about demand as "present and future concerns" for the company. Ms Ourmières-Widener noted "TAP has not been a profitable company for many years" despite having had positive results during expansion in 2017 and in 2019, adding the COVID-19 pandemic "further aggravated the company's difficulties". Ms Ourmières-Widener accepted the Portuguese State intervention came "at a high price for taxpayers," but added it comes with the certainty that "everything will be done to make the national airline a sustainable company in the long term".

Clean Aviation ED: Hydrogen aircraft 'the biggest challenge' which aviation has faced this century

Clean Aviation ED Axel Krein stated: "The development of hydrogen-powered aircraft will be the biggest challenge that the aviation industry has faced in a century and intense research will be necessary to make this a reality", adding "A silos approach will lead to failure". Mr Krein stressed the importance of developing synergies with relevant national and regional programmes to accelerate the uptake of research and innovation results and to pull together the best expertise also in areas beyond traditional aeronautics, such as hydrogen, batteries, digital, manufacturing, artificial intelligence and from the space sector where important experience can be harnessed.

MYAirline CEO: ‘Pretty much everything is in place. We are ready to go’

MYAirline CEO Rayner Teo stated: "As a start-up, because we are small, we are nimble, more aggressive, and if we get ideas, we can work on them quickly". Mr Teo said: "If anything doesn't go right, we will make sure that we address it just as quickly". He noted: "We are reaping the benefits of getting good planes [at lower leasing rates] and we have secured as many planes as we can", adding: "Pretty much everything is in place. We are ready to go".

ERA president calls for European aviation to address summer 2022 challenges collectively

European Regions Airline Association (ERA) president Jan Palmer underlined the importance of the European aviation sector to address the "many major operational challenges" faced in summer 2022. Mr Palmer stated staff shortages, airport capacity shortages, flight delays and cancellations "need to be dealt with" in order to make progress towards recovery, adding collaboration "has never been so important".

Artemis Aerospace MD: Aviation staff shortage 'runs far deeper than illness or even the pandemic'

Artemis Aerospace MD Jim Scott stated the issue of staff shortages in the aviation sector "runs far deeper than illness or even the pandemic", adding: "The aviation industry has been experiencing a downturn in skilled workers across all job roles for many years". Mr Scott commented: "It's clear there needs to be greater collaboration across the whole industry to reach out to younger people in more targeted, creative and compelling ways that will inspire them to seek out a career in aviation. Disadvantaged and minority groups are also incredibly valuable sources of talent".

Delta Air Lines 'ahead' of plan to achieve full year profitability in 2022: CEO

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian stated the carrier is "ahead" of its plan to achieve full year profitability in 2022, and is expecting to end the year free cash flow positive. Mr Bastian added Delta is working towards full network restoration by summer 2023 in support of a "meaningful step up" in profitability and cash flow.

IATA: 'The competitiveness and resilience of European aviation are under strain'

IATA stated the aviation sector in Europe "is recovering strongly but challenges remain". IATA highlighted the USD50 billion in losses experienced by European airlines between 2020 and 2022, the delayed return to pre-pandemic demand in 2024 and the "challenging" operating environment of growing costs, proliferation of regulatory initiatives and the drive to net zero emissions. IATA regional VP for Europe Rafael Schvartzman commented: "Europe needs strong air connectivity now more than ever. But the competitiveness and resilience of European aviation are under strain".

Gebr Heinemann: All active markets 'making a strong comeback'

Gebr Heinemann chief sales officer Florian Seidel stated all active travel retail markets, which are not subject to border closures or affected by the war in Ukraine, "are making a strong comeback with regard to passenger numbers". Mr Seidel said: "Despite the challenges, travelling has a high priority for people. The luxury segment remains resilient". He also stated: "We are observing a real change in travel behaviour and expect a shift in peak seasons. Whereas we are used to seeing a peak in business travel from March to May and again in autumn with another peak in holiday travel in the summer, for example, we have recorded steady sales numbers above our expectations this year since April".