Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

27 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.

Corporate Traveller global MD: Golden Triangle the 'beating heart of corporate travel' in Australia

Corporate Traveller global MD Tom Walley said: "The Golden Triangle continues to be the beating heart of corporate travel within Australia and the epicentre of business activity", adding it is "unlikely to change anytime soon". Mr Walley said as "the vast majority of restrictions now ended globally", corporate travellers "can now look forward to a far smoother 2023, a 2023 where skills shortages will become more of a focus, and where businesses big and small can capitalise if they take advantage of the return to travel".

Vistara CEO: 'International expansion will be a focus going forward'

Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan reported "international expansion will be a focus going forward" for the airline, adding: "it plays a strong role in the performance of our bottom line", with international operations accounting for approximately 30% of revenue at present. Mr Kannan noted Vistara's "percentage of capacity deployed internationally has increased" in recent months, adding: "We have 25%-30% deployed internationally, that is quite positive and a game changer for us". He said "demand to Europe has been strong", with Vistara services to destinations including London, Paris and Frankfurt "doing extremely well", "with load factors in excess of 85%-90%".

TTNQ CEO: Driving aviation demand for key international markets is 'critical' to recovery plan

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) CEO Mark Olsen stated "Driving aviation demand for each of our key international markets is critical to TTNQ's three-year international recovery plan".

Avolon CEO: 'Our industry is still climbing out of... a macro shock of epic proportions'

Avolon CEO Andy Cronin said: "Our industry is still climbing out of - call it a 100 year event… it is a macro shock of epic proportions". Mr Cronin added "a normal recession looks pretty good compared to our entire customer base grounded for two years", noting: "We are bullish, and these are the reasons why I suspect there's a disconnect between the Davos in Switzerland and the Davos in Dublin".

Lufthansa Cargo CEO: Sustainability to be the key driver in the future of air freight

Lufthansa Cargo CEO Dorothea von Boxberg stated "the future of air freight logistics will continue to be largely driven by the issue of sustainability". Ms von Boxberg said that in addition to CO2 neutrality on the ground, "it will be essential to further promote the sustainability of aircraft as a means of transport, for example through fleet modernisation". She added a holistic approach must be taken to make real difference, including taking smaller measures such as loading equipment optimisation and recycling seriously.

Sunshine Coast Airport entering 'a period of significant change and growth': CEO

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie, in response to Bonza opening bookings, stated the airport is "entering a period of significant change and growth, and each of these milestones contributes to the role we play as a major economic enabler across the region". He added there is "so much more we intend to do over the coming years". Future plans include domestic terminal works and "planning for an international facility as a permanent fixture".

ValueJet MD: CRJ900 is 'the magic aircraft' for Nigeria and West Africa

ValueJet MD Dapo Majekodunmi described the CRJ900 as "the magic aircraft for this region" due to its combination of range and passenger capacity. Mr Majekodunmi said the 90 seat capacity of ValueJet's CRJ900s is "just enough to serve over popular routes like Abuja, Port Harcourt, Asaba and Benin".

Alaska Airlines 'well positioned to grow, compete and out-perform in 2023': CEO

Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci stated "2022 was a year of significant recovery and accomplishment for Alaska Airlines", adding: "Despite many challenges during the year, we ran one of the best operations, signed five new labor deals, and executed the majority of our single fleet transition". Mr Minicucci also said there are expectations that the carrier is "well positioned to grow, compete and out-perform in 2023".

easyJet CEO: 'We have seen strong and sustained demand for travel over the first quarter'

easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren stated "We have seen strong and sustained demand for travel over the first quarter, carrying almost 50% more customers compared with last year", adding "Many returned to make bookings during the traditional turn of year sale where we filled five aircraft every minute in the peak hours, which culminated in three record-breaking weekends for sales revenue this month". Mr Lundgren also said the carrier expects "to see our winter loss reduce significantly over the first half compared to last year".

Southwest Airlines operational disruptions not due to staffing issues: CEO

Southwest Airlines president and CEO Bob Jordan stated the carrier has "swiftly taken steps" to improve operational resilience after disruptions in Dec-2022. Mr Jordan said Southwest is undergoing a "detailed review" of events and established an operations review committee that is working with management to help oversee the company's response. It is also conducting a third party review of the events and is re-examining the "priority of technology and other investments planned in 2023". Mr Jordan added: "We know for a fact we were absolutely staffed to operate our schedules", noting: "I do not believe the issue was staffing".

Blackpool Airport exploring 'future plan for regional commercial passenger flights': MD

Blackpool Airport MD Steve Peters announced the airport is "exploring the possibilities of new hangars and the opportunities for aviation businesses which the surrounding Enterprise Zone brings". Mr Peters also said the airport is exploring "a future plan for regional commercial passenger flights".