Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

17 February, 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 'cautiously optimistic' despite economic conditions

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) director general Subhas Menon commented on economic conditions, stating jet fuel prices "have been stubbornly high" and noting the impact of inflation and the strong USD. Mr Menon said: "People's capacity to spend will also be affected but we are cautiously optimistic that the aviation industry and most importantly the travel industry will continue to grow and strengthen in the coming years".

Finnair CEO: Routes to be unaffected by pandemic travel restrictions after summer 2023

Finnair CEO Topi Manner highlighted the airline’s key markets of Japan and China have eased COVID-19 restrictions, and believes that with the impacts of the pandemic fading, related travel restrictions "will no longer affect our operations on any of the routes we operate after the summer [2023]"

Malaysia Airlines CEO: Airfares will remain 'strong' in next six months

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi stated he expects airfares to remain "strong" in the next six months due to travel demand, especially since China's reopening. Mr Ahmad stated: "With the additional frequency made available in a certain sector, fares will be dynamically adjusted downwards for customers to enjoy low fares". He added Malaysia Airlines practices "dynamic pricing, subject to demand and supply and based on the date, time, and availability of seats within a specific timeframe". Mr Ahmad stated the carrier's network recovery continues to be led by the domestic, UK, ASEAN and South Asia. Mr Ahmad said: "Domestically, we have recovered our capacities to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, across all airlines within Malaysia Aviation Group". He added: "We have been deploying our fleet and network expansion opportunistically".

Flybe joint administrator confirms no further business rescue discussions

Interpath Advisory MD and joint administrator for Flybe David Pike confirmed discussions with parties regarding a sale of the business have concluded. Despite significant interest from credible parties, it was not possible to develop a transaction in the available timeframe and the joint administrators will commence the process of winding down the business and identifying options in relation to the sale of specific rights, interests and assets. Mr Pike stated: "Unfortunately, there was a challenging set of circumstances at play, including the 'use-it-or-lose-it' rules related to slots, complexities with European recognition of a potential temporary operating licence and the high costs associated with preserving the company's operating platform, which meant there was a limited window in which a clear path forward could be set".

Capital A CEO: We want to do 'a lot' for China in passengers, business and logistics

Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes stated: "We're excited for China's opening, and we want to do a lot for them both in passengers, in business and in logistics". Mr Fernandes noted the carrier's first flight to Guangzhou since the reopening recorded a 95% passenger load factor, noting: "That's a great start".

PLAY CEO: Clear and positive signs that we are on the right track

PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson stated the carrier "has a healthy financial position and a healthy cash balance", with the loss recorded for 2022 "to be expected given the fact that we are a start-up company in a steep growth period". Mr Jónsson said the carrier sees "clear and positive signs that show we are on the right track and that we will soon see a return on our investments as we become more established in the market".

Flight Centre Travel Group CFO outlines leisure business productivity increases

Flight Centre Travel Group global CFO Adam Campbell said drivers for the group's leisure business productivity increases include investments during coronavirus and retention of high performing staff. Mr Campbell said staff members were "busy keeping up with demand that it was almost an enforced productivity increase", but "we… knew wasn't going to be sustainable". Mr Campbell said the company has been "actively recruiting" and "we have started to see that ease back now".

Swedavia CEO: 'we are headed for a busy summer season'

Swedavia CEO Jonas Abrahamsson stated "The positive trend we saw in 2022 continued at the start of this year". Mr Abrahamsson said despite increasing costs of living and it being "a time of great global uncertainty", there are indications "that we are headed for a busy summer season with intense pressure for air travel and continued investments by airlines, which will help to further improve Swedish connectivity".

United Nigeria COO calls for government intervention as operating costs escalate

United Nigeria executive director and COO Mazi Osita Okonkwo called for the Nigerian Government to support the country's airlines, stating: "There is the need for gov­ernment intervention funds for operators". Mr Okonkwo reported the price of aviation fuel in Nigeria has increased from approximately NGN200 (USD0.43) per litre in 2021 to NGN500 (USD1.09) per litre in Feb-2022 and up to NGN800 (USD1.74) per litre currently.

TAV Airports CEO: 'In 2022 we completely recovered from the financial effects of the pandemic'

TAV Airports CEO Serkan Kaptan stated "In 2022 we completely recovered from the financial effects of the pandemic and surpassed the profitability levels of our 2019 portfolio, excluding Istanbul Ataturk". Mr Kaptan said TAV's "first major financial goal now is to catch up with the profitability levels achieved in 2018 with the portfolio that also included Istanbul".