Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

18 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.

AAPA director general sees 'disconnect' between economic outlook and travel demand

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) director general Subhas Menon stated: "There is a disconnect between the bleak global economic picture and the buoyant air travel picture". Mr Menon said: "I don't think this sort of thing has happened before - in the recent past at least". He added: "The underlying demand is there and for months to come... there is a surge in forward bookings".

AirAsia 'still constrained by limited planes': CEO

AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat stated the carrier was not able to introduce as many extra frequencies as preferred due to the ripple effect of the pandemic, even as travel is rebounding in 2022. Mr Asmat said: "We are still constrained by limited planes as our fleet is undergoing mandatory maintenance checks after two years of hibernation and the limited availability of MRO hangars would mean that these checks are taking longer than usual". Mr Asmat noted the carrier is bringing back flight crew who were on furlough and hiring additional cabin crew to support a "V-shaped" recovery. Mr Asmat added: "While we're still constrained by the restart of the global air travel revival, our guests can rest assured that from next month and leading up to Chinese New Year and Hari Raya, we will be adding as many flights as possible for our core domestic and international routes".

Flight Centre Travel Group MD: Outbound travel for Australia 'well below pre-COVID levels'

Flight Centre Travel Group MD Graham Turner stated outbound travel for Australia is "well below pre-COVID levels". Mr Turner said outbound travel is being "impacted by a lack of competition and capacity, which is leading to a lack of seats to sell and abnormally high airfare prices".

New Zealand Tourism Minister: Locals 'are still travelling domestically'

New Zealand's Tourism Minister Stuart Nash stated "local tourists are still travelling domestically and supporting our tourism sector". Mr Nash said monthly tourism electronic card transactions in 'cultural, recreation, and gambling services' "showed the greatest increase of all the tourism-characteristic products", increasing 30% compared to 2019.

Webjet chair reports 'a turnaround in travel conditions' in H1FY2022

Webjet Limited chair Roger Sharp reported "a turnaround in travel conditions as borders have re-opened and travel restrictions lifted" in H1FY2022, ended 30-Sep-2022. He added: "The resumption of travel has seen all businesses profitable for the period". Mr Sharp said the Webjet group plans to focus on mitigation measures, "principally strengthening the Group's liquidity position through a return to profitability and positive turnaround in B2B working capital which contributed to a positive cash supply for the period". CEO: Airfares will continue to rise due to environmental taxes and Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy said he believes airfares will "continue to rise" due to government imposed environmental taxes. Mr Heapy projected governments will become "more desperate" as they approach sustainability target dates and will turn to taxation as a result, adding: "It will put holiday prices up and tax people out of the ability to fly, meaning flying will become something for the rich and privileged only. People want sustainable holidays and this should be seen as an opportunity".

Abu Dhabi Airports experiencing 'quicker than expected recovery': CCO

Abu Dhabi Airports CCO Francois Bourienne stated the company has experienced "a quicker than expected recovery" with the removal of COVID-19 restrictions and the reopening of key markets including Asia. Mr Bourienne noted carriers at Abu Dhabi International Airport achieved passenger load factors equal to or greater than 80% in 3Q2022, approaching pre-pandemic levels.

TAV Airports CEO expecting Nigeria and Central Africa to 'boom' over the coming decades

TAV Airports CEO Serkan Kaptan commented on the company's plans to sign a concession agreement with the Nigerian Government for the operation of Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Mr Kaptan described Lagos as "important" due to its location in West Africa and the centre of the African continent, rapid population growth in the region and low international traffic in Africa. He stated: "Over the next decades, we expect Nigeria and Central Africa to boom so that is why we have targeted Lagos". Mr Kaptan said the TAV consortium intends to invest more than USD200 million in developing Lagos Airport.