Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

13 January, 2023

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: China travel restrictions will limit industry's ability to meet demand

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) director general Subhas Menon stated the reopening of the China travel market is "a great boost for the airline industry". Mr Menon said: "It is a great development and it's come sooner than expected". He also noted that "we have seen some governments overreacting" and the reintroduction of travel restrictions will "slow the ability of the industry to meet the demand".

WTTC: Reintroduction of travel restrictions on Chinese travellers is 'a step backwards'

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) president and CEO Julia Simpson stated the reintroduction of "ineffective" COVID-19 testing for Chinese travellers "is a step backwards for the global travel and tourism sector". Ms Simpson said: "Introducing knee jerk travel restrictions shows governments have learned nothing about the behaviour of this virus and continue to ignore the World Health Organization's advice that border restrictions do not stop the virus mutating or moving around the globe".

PLAY CEO: In tough economic times people turn to LCCs

PLAY CEO Birgir Jonsson, in an interview with BNN Bloomberg, stated what we learned during COVID-19 is people love and need to travel. Mr Jonsson said "in tough economic times people turn to low cost carriers", and added the carrier is therefore "extremely bullish and optimistic about this year [2023]".

Tourism New Zealand to focus on a 'more longer-term vision'

Tourism New Zealand CEO René de Monchy said Tourism New Zealand is "turning our attention to being a bit more longer term vision, which is actually more of our core business… what we're now looking to, is actually starting to try to get a handle on what do we think that travel behaviour is going to look like next summer, and the years beyond that". Mr de Monchy said as of Oct-2022, New Zealand's international travel has reached 57% of pre coronavirus levels, while trans-Tasman visitors have reached 74% of pre pandemic levels.

Ryanair CEO: 'Too early to say' if softening demand will continue into 2023

Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said it is "too early to say" definitively whether the softening of travel demand in the UK and Ireland during Dec-2022 will continue into 2023. Mr Wilson said recent industrial action "may have been reflected in some unwillingness to travel" and that there is "no doubt that the UK economy" relative to commentary around a recession is "different than the other European economies", adding: "It may be reflected in that or it may be short term stuff to do with just a general bad feeling in the UK".

Cairns Airport domestic traffic 'continued to be the bedrock of capacity for the year'

Cairns Airport manager aviation business development David Nye stated "Domestic traffic has continued to be the bedrock of capacity for the year… with several months exceeding domestic visitation when compared to 2019". Mr Nye added "Traditional markets of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne performed strongly and other routes such as Adelaide and Newcastle saw visitors coming in bigger numbers than ever".

Luxair will never be a low cost airline: CEO

Luxair CEO Gilles Feith stated the carrier once again has competition at Luxembourg Airport and will "have to reinvent and be a quality airline with an entire network of destinations". Mr Feith noted however that "Luxair will never be a low cost airline" underling it is not possible with its social model, adding the airline must therefore ensure new aircraft "fit into our system". According to the CAPA Fleet Database, Luxair's fleet currently comprises 19 aircraft, four Boeing 737-700s, four 737-800s, one DHC-8Q-402 and 10 DHC-8Q-402(NG)s.

Brisbane Airport CEO: The industry has come a long way since borders reopened last year'

Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff stated "Brisbane Airport has been humming all holiday period", adding "The industry has come a long way since borders reopened last year". Mr de Graaf said: "If you think back to this time last year, international arrivals were capped at 1000 people per week so we've come a long way… so to see more than three million people pass smoothly through Brisbane Airport across December and January is a great sign for Queensland's economy".

SAS focuses on ramping up ahead of busy summer 2023: CEO

SAS CEO Anko van der Werff reported passenger traffic during Dec-2022 continued "the positive trend observed during autumn", with the carrier handling 1.5 million passengers, a 50% year-on-year increase. Mr van der Werff said the carrier is now "concentrating on ramping up ahead of the expected busy summer season", during which it will operate over 5000 weekly frequencies to over 100 destinations. SAS plans to launch 20 routes in summer 2023.