Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

17 March, 2023

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.

Cathay Pacific CEO expects ticket prices to 'come down further' by end 2023

Cathay Pacific CEO Ronald Lam foresees ticket prices will "come down further" by the end of the year, when Cathay expects its passenger capacity to return to 70% of pre-pandemic levels. Mr Lam said the carrier is already seeing ticket prices coming down gradually, as it rebuilds its capacity "as rapidly as we could". Mr Lam also said the airline and Hong Kong have a "unique" advantage coming up in the next few years with access to their extended home market of Greater Bay Area, an up and coming "big" market" with a population of 80 million. He also said Cathay and Hong Kong have been doing quite a lot, even during the pandemic, to develop their penetration into the market.

Philippines AirAsia to reduce ticket prices in Apr-2023

Philippines AirAsia spokesman Steve Dailisan stated the carrier is committed to reducing ticket prices in Apr-2023 in line with a government directive. Mr Dailisan said: "Any form of reduction in ticket value will not only motivate people to travel, but will also spur economic activity in the destinations where we fly to". He added: "Our commitment has never wavered in democratising air travel despite the volatile pricing of fuel".

Riyadh Air to 'move with real pace' to establish itself as major Middle Eastern carrier: CEO

Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas reported the carrier will "move with real pace" to establish itself as a major airline and improve connectivity between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Mr Douglas stated Riyadh King Khalid International Airport has historically been "nowhere near as well served as the hubs of other [Middle Eastern] carriers", adding the aircraft will enable the carrier to "put connectivity into places that fulfil the ambition of the nation". This follows the carrier entering an agreement with Boeing to purchase up to 72 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which Mr Douglas described as the result of a "rigorous campaign" between Boeing and Airbus.

GE Aerospace CEO: Supply and labour constraints remain 'widespread'

GE chairman and CEO and GE Aerospace CEO Larry Culp described meeting high demand at GE Aerospace as a "daily battle" due to ongoing shortages of materials, parts and labour. Mr Culp commented: "There's no one commodity. There's no one component which is the issue". He added: "There's no one prime problem, but it's widespread".

Air Menzies International aims to 'double the size of our footprint', targeting Asia: CEO

Air Menzies International CEO Jonathan Clark stated the company plans to expand in Asia in the coming years. Mr Clark said the company sees Asia as a growth market, highlighting China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. He said Air Menzies International aims to "double the size of our footprint" from 27 branches to more than 50 worldwide and ensure the company has a presence in all major trade lanes.

Air Arabia Group CEO: Formation of Riyadh Air will 'create more opportunities' in Middle East

Air Arabia Group CEO Adel Al Ali stated the establishment of Riyadh Air in Saudi Arabia will "create more opportunities" in the Middle Eastern aviation sector. Mr Al Ali noted the increased competition will bring new challenges, however it will ultimately benefit the consumer and encourage more people to fly.

United Airlines CEO: US DoJ stance against JetBlue/Spirit combination 'does not seem fair'

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby stated the US Department of Justice's (DoJ) lawsuit against JetBlue Airways' planned acquisition of Spirit Airlines "does not seem fair". Mr Kirby said DoJ's stance that "an airline can't combine to be the fifth largest in the world when scale matters" is unreasonable.

RwandAir CEO: SAATM is 'key in unlocking connectivity' in Africa

RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo stated the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative is "the key in unlocking connectivity within the African continent". Ms Makolo said wider liberalisation is also required in Africa, commenting: "We also need to see visa regimes changing".

London Gatwick Airport pushing for projects to improve resilience: CEO

London Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate stated "While we still have some way to go to reach a full recovery, we know long term sustainable investment is critical to the future of our airport and provides a significant boost to the regional and national economy". Mr Wingate said: "This year we are pushing forward with a number of projects to improve resilience and the overall passenger experience, including preparing our planning application to bring the existing Northern Runway into routine use". He added: "Central to this is our commitment for our business to be net zero for scope 1 and 2 by 2030".

Air Botswana to seek strategic partnership as part of 'privatisation agenda': Minister

Botswana's Minister of Transport and Public Works Eric Molale stated Air Botswana is working to improve its efficiency and competitiveness, with the aim to secure a strategic partner. Mr Molale said: "While the immediate plan is for the airline to get a strategic partner, these strategic objectives are still aligned with its privatisation agenda". He added: "In the medium to long term, the airline is working on restructuring its operations to commercialise other divisions and where possible, make them subsidiaries or autonomous entities".