Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

16 December, 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.

Skymark Airlines president: 'Aim will not change'

Skymark Airlines president Hayao Hora stated the carrier's "aim will not change", reiterating its aim will be to grow by refining its unique business model of high quality at low prices. Skymark will use funds raised through its stock exchange relisting to upgrade its fleet to more fuel efficient models with more seats, in order to meet demand mainly for services to and from Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Fiji Airways operating 'near 100% capacity'; considering South America: CEO

Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen said the carrier is operating 70% of its pre-coronavirus network and marked one year since the resumption of services. Mr Viljoen said: "Of the 70% that's opened, Fiji Airways is flying with near 100% capacity so extra flights have been added", noting: "The demand is huge". He also commented on the potential for the carrier to operate to South American countries including Argentina and Brazil, stating: "There's an option there one day". Mr Viljoen added: "It's uncertain at this stage but it would be a great opportunity".

Bonza to be Australia's 'first new high-capacity AOC operator for 15 years': CEO

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said the airline's planned AUD50 (USD34) airfares "will be the starting point and not every fare will be available at that level… we think there is an opportunity here to stimulate a new market and that is what it will take". Mr Jordan said Bonza is "the first new high-capacity AOC operator for 15 years and that is probably the telling statement in why this has taken so long", adding: "We are the first in a long time so that is a learning process for everyone".

Airbus CEO: 2022 production plans 'didn't work out as expected'

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury stated there is an "enormous problem" in bringing the industrial supply chain back to strength worldwide, including in the aviation industry. Mr Faury said: "There is a lot of interdependence between the aerospace supply chain and electronic cards and components, raw materials and the availability of energy and skills at a worldwide level". He added production plans for 2022 laid out at the start of the year "didn't work out as expected". Mr Faury stated: "Getting things back into order after COVID is taking a lot longer than we thought we could reasonably do", but added: "That doesn't mean production is not increasing".

United Airlines expects 'mild recession': CEO

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said United Airlines expects a "mild recession", however, the carrier continues "We're still setting records". Mr Kirby said due to lifestyle changes, "What we see is that people that always had plenty of disposable income to travel now have the freedom from a time perspective" to travel.

TUI Group CEO expecting solid 2023 despite external market factors

TUI Group CEO Sebastian Ebel stated the company is expecting 2023 "to be a solid and good year" despite external market factors, with a strong increase in revenue and a significant increase in underlying EBIT expected for FY2023.The group reported winter 2022/23 bookings are stable with a programme planned at the pre-pandemic level. TUI has recorded "a continuing trend towards short-term bookings", while average prices are 28% higher than in winter 2018/2019, which the company expects will help cushion the impact of exchange rate volatility and higher inflation. The group plans to "significantly broaden its product portfolio" by increasing the flexibility of the traditional package tour. As a result, customers will be able to combine hotel allotments and flights at short notice. In addition, travel components such as hotel accommodation, flights and additional services will be offered separately and individually throughout the group.

Capital A CEO: China reopening to lift 2023 earnings prospects

Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes listed decreasing oil prices, strengthening ASEAN currencies and China's reopening as three "tailwinds" that will lift the group's earnings prospects in 2023. Mr Fernandes said the group will require around 40 aircraft for its China operations and is hoping for an opening in Mar-2023. He added: "The goal now is for AirAsia to get all these aircraft ready".

Brussels Airlines CEO: Brussels Airport noise proposals 'a serious threat' to African hub

Brussels Airlines CEO Peter Gerber said if Belgian Minister for Mobility Georges Gilkinet's proposals for stricter noise standards at Brussels Airport go ahead, "the airport will lose all its competitiveness and it will become a small provincial airport" Mr Gerber labelled the proposals "a serious threat" to the carrier's African hub at the airport, and highlighted that services to West African destinations depend "on many other flights from Europe that bring passengers together for those African destinations".

Malta's Finance Minister: We need to cut more costs if we want a national airline

Malta's Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, commenting on Air Malta, stated "we need to cut more costs if we want a national airline". Mr Caruana outlined: "We cannot sustain an airline with eight planes at the current expense" and added that "there are further decisions that I need to announce to the cabin crew union".

European MEP calls for EU-Qatar aviation agreement to be reviewed

European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism vice chairman Jan-Christoph Oetjen called for "previous reports on Qatar to be checked", following a corruption scandal in the European Parliament. Mr Oetjen stated: "This also includes the aviation agreement between the EU and Qatar that was decided last year", adding: "If it turns out that Qatar has exerted influence here, the agreement cannot remain in place".

Lufthansa Group CEO: 'Italy is one of the most important markets for us'

Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr confirmed the group's interest in Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways), highlighting: "Italy is one of the most important markets for us... we already fly more people from the US to Italy than to Germany". Mr Spohr added that the potential acquisition of ITA by the group "would not only open up new opportunities in aviation for Lufthansa, but also for ITA and the country of Italy".

Aegean Airlines CEO: Extension of tourist season a 'constant goal'

Aegean Airlines CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis stated "the creation or support of products that can facilitate the extension of the tourist season" in destinations such as Crete, Rhodes and the Peloponnese is a constant goal for the group. Mr Gerogiannis also highlighted the enhancement of passenger traffic in Athens and Thessaloniki and underlined cooperation of all stakeholders across the entire value chain as key for these targets to be realised.

Ryanair CEO concerned by lack of European Commission support for ETS for long haul services

Ryanair expressed concern regarding the European Commission's lack of support for the vote of the European Parliament to extend the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) onto long haul services. Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary stated: "Europe's most price sensitive passengers and their families travelling on short haul flights, many to the peripheral Member States... are forced to pay all of Europe's ETS taxes, while they generate less than half of EU aviation emissions".