Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

4 November, 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 CEO: Domestic airfares increase approximately 20%, Tasman and international rise 50%

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said domestic airfares are "up about 20%", while trans-Tasman and longer haul international services are "closer to 50%" in pricing increases. Mr Foran said the increases are due to a "combination of things", including capacity to destinations, demand, aircraft availabilities, inflation and fuel costs. Mr Foran said on a domestic basis, the airline's increases are in line with costs.

Fiji Airways 'punches above its weight to survive and thrive': CEO

Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen said Fiji Airways is a "small airline with what I call massive grit that consistently punches above its weight to survive and thrive". Mr Viljoen said what assisted the carrier through difficulties is its six guidelines: improving on demonstrated strength, building and improving the Fiji Airways business structure, improving service through training, fleet improvements, academy investments and pursuing Fiji Airways' strategic purpose.

Tourism Australia regional marketing director China: Chinese tourism behaviours to change post COVID

Tourism Australia regional marketing director China Fred Luan, via Tourism Australia's official website, stated travel behaviours of Chinese tourists may change in a post coronavirus setting. Mr Luan said observations seen by Tourism Australia in the market is that safety is one of the strongest concerns when considering travel, noting Chinese travellers "will tend to travel... in a smaller group, the usual group travel will become more tailor made, smaller group travel" adding "there will be more self drive... behaviour".

Emirates Airline SVP: Traffic at 80% of pre-pandemic levels 'and growing'

Emirates Airline SVP revenue optimisation and distribution Anand Lakshminarayanan stated the carrier's traffic currently stands at 80% of pre-pandemic levels and is "growing fast". Mr Lakshminarayanan reported Emirates' direct bookings are at about 40% of total bookings, providing the airline flexibility to adapt their product to customer needs. Mr Lakshminarayanan noted differences in the post-COVID-19 travel environment, including the rise of later bookings and premium leisure travel demand.

City of Newcastle: Newcastle on track to capture more business tourism market

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes stated Newcastle is strategically focused on increasing business tourism through the Newcastle Destination Management Plan. Ms Nelmes stated: "Tourism Australia research indicates that business travellers spend 74 per cent more per night on average compared to leisure visitors". Newcastle Williamtown Airport CEO Peter Cock said the region's potential to host large scale international events is gearing up. Dr Cock added: "Newcastle Airport is growing, and from 2024 our expanded terminal will have the ability to welcome hundreds of thousands of international passengers annually as a result of airfield upgrades that will cater to larger aircraft including Boeing 787s and Airbus A330s". Dr Cock stated: This will enable direct flights between Newcastle and destinations in Asia, the Middle East and the Americas".

Aer Lingus to record 'small profitability for the full year': CEO

Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton reported the carrier recorded a profit of EUR139 million in 3Q2022, following a loss of EUR95 million in 1H2022. Ms Embleton said the performance reflects "a welcome strength in leisure demand within the quarter" following the removal of travel restrictions in Ireland. Ms Embleton also reported the carrier handled almost 90% of 2019 pre-pandemic capacity during summer 2022 and that it expects to record "a position of small profitability for the full year", adding: "Profitability is welcome as Aer Lingus begins the process of both repairing the balance sheet and repaying the significant debt that has been taken on. While there is much to build on, we are conscious that global and geopolitical forces causing higher oil prices, exchange rate fluctuation and rising interest rates continue to substantially increase the cost base of airlines"

Connect Airlines CEO: Zero emission regional fleets necessary to meet 2050 goals

Connect Airlines CEO John Thomas stated the development of zero emission narrowbody aircraft "requires a direct hydrogen powered aircraft" and added: "It's unlikely that that aircraft will be available until 2035". Mr Thomas said the resulting "13 year gap" is "a gap that we really can't stop still and wait out". He commented: "There's absolutely no way that we're going to make the 2050 zero emission targets unless, during the 2020s, we convert the entire regional fleet to zero emissions".

TAP CEO: Visibility for 2023 remains limited

TAP CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener stated that visibility for 2023 remains limited, underling that "given the uncertainties of the current situation, it is increasingly crucial that we maintain the focus on our strategic plan". Ms Widener added the next steps for the group include creating more modern collective bargaining agreements in partnership with its labour partners, operational and service quality improvements, and negotiations of its contracts with third parties. The group noted the EUR990 million shareholder contribution, approved by the European Commission under TAP's restructuring plan, is still pending and is expected to be implemented by the end of 2022.

Russian Transport Ministry: All carriers complete move to Russian reservation systems

Russia's Ministry of Transport announced all Russian carriers migrated to Russian reservation systems. Deputy Transport Minister Dmitry Bakanov said: "The move to Russian reservation systems provides for information security for air transport, undisrupted air services and excludes the threat of leaks of passenger and crew personal data".