Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

24 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.

Sydney Airport CEO: Domestic recovery 'has been stagnant since April last year'

Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport CEO Geoff Culbert stated "Momentum is starting to build in our international recovery with China now back open to tourists after three years of border restrictions". Mr Culbert said in Dec-2022, "We had just three airlines on the route flying only four return services a week. By the end of April, we'll have six airlines onboard with 26 flights a week to mainland China", adding "There's still plenty of work ahead, with the number of Chinese nationals travelling through Sydney in February only 24.9 per cent recovered compared to pre-COVID". Mr Culbert said domestic traveller recovery "has been stagnant since April last year, with reduced capacity and high airfares impacting people's travelling habits".

ASM SVP: 3580 new routes announced in 2022; 'positive future' for airport sector

ASM SVP Tony Griffin said there were "3580 new routes that were announced" in 2022, of which 1900 "were announcements of routes on unserved city pairs". Mr Griffin added that on average it was about 60 days from the route announcements to launch. He stated the COVID-19 pandemic has "generated a lot of opportunities in recovery", adding "we're looking at a positive future for the airport sector".

SAS CEO expecting electric flights to be in operation by 2028

SAS CEO Anko van der Werff stated the carrier expects to have electric flights in operation by 2028. Mr van der Werff said the aircraft "will be smaller planes with 30 seats with a range of up to 400 kilometres", and will operate on shorter routes in Sweden such as Stockholm-Visby.

Emirates president: Indian carriers missing out on USD1bn due to government traffic restrictions

Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark stated Indian airlines are missing out on up to USD1 billion in annual revenue due to traffic restrictions imposed by India's Government. Sir Tim emphasised the need to increase air access amid strong demand in the UAE-India travel market, noting the UAE is one of the largest international markets for Indian carriers which operate over 300 weekly frequencies to Dubai. As previously reported by CAPA, Emirates requested India's Government to allocate an additional 50,000 seats per week to the airline for services to and from India.

Australia's Minister for Trade and Tourism: International student return 'an encouraging sign'

Australia's Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell announced "The strong return of international students is also an encouraging sign of recovery". Mr Farrell said the "Domestic visitor spend per trip in Dec-2022 was 39 per cent higher than in Dec-2019", while international arrivals "arrivals are steady".

Dubai Duty Free expecting to exceed USD2bn sales record in 2023: CEO

Dubai Duty Free executive vice chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin reported the company expects to record between USD2.1 billion and USD2.2 billion in annual sales in 2023, exceeding its previous sales record of USD2 billion reached in 2019. Mr McLoughlin stated Dubai Duty Free's 1Q2023 to date sales are up 53% year-on-year, with spending levels at USD47 per person up from USD39 pre-pandemic.

Adani Airports CEO: 'Our ambition is to do more airports in India'

Adani Airports CEO Arun Bansal reported Adani Group is interested in bidding on forthcoming tenders to operate Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports, expected to be issued by India's Government in the coming months. Mr Bansal commented: "Our ambition is to do more airports in India", adding: "and we intend to bid for that".

Boeing: Net zero by 2050 requires 'a lot from the airframer side'

Boeing director of sustainability and emerging technology product marketing Thomas Sanderson stated the goal of net zero by 2050 requires "a lot from the airframer side". Mr Sanderson said: "The value of air transportation is not in dispute", adding: "The demand is there and the question is how to serve that in a responsible way".

Allegiant Air VP: Post-pandemic operational recovery to take 'years' amid increasing demand

Allegiant Air VP corporate development John Pepper stated it will take "years" to restore airline networks to pre-pandemic levels from an operational standpoint, with demand growth to outstrip capacity growth in the US "for quite a while". Mr Pepper reported operational challenges experienced in summer 2022, including demand outpacing supply and higher fuel costs, will repeat in summer 2023, adding demand growth "has never been stronger" despite operational challenges.

ACI World director general: 'The mood is very positive in terms of the recovery'

ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira confirmed that ACI expects global passenger traffic to recover to 92% of the 2019 level in 2023, commenting: "The mood is very positive in terms of the recovery". Mr de Oliveira said domestic markets are leading the recovery, with international markets to take longer, and he noted that global regions are recovering at different rates. ACI expects full recovery in 2024. Looking forward, Mr de Oliveira also stated "technology will play a key role" in addressing workforce challenges and improving passenger experience. He said developments in technology need to be aligned with governance and the regulatory framework.

GTAA CEO: Canadian Govt should allow airports to 'reinvest rent' to accelerate progress

Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) CEO Deborah Flint, commenting on GTAA's 2022 financial results, called on Canada's Government to "continue investing in modernised infrastructure" at the country's airports. Ms Flint added: "That includes allowing Canadian airports to reinvest the rent they pay in order to accelerate progress. Doing so would bring about an aviation system that is globally competitive and on the leading edge of passenger service, benefitting not only travellers but all Canadians by virtue of the strong economic contribution that airports make to their communities, provinces and country".

RwandAir seeking to launch new routes 'in the most affordable way': CEO

RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo stated the airline is considering new destinations, including Paris, Maputo, Luanda, Mombasa and Zanzibar. Ms Makolo said: "We want to see how we can do that in the most affordable way" and "ensure that aviation is an economic enabler and not a luxury". She added: "We need more of our citizens travelling by air, so to that end we need to make it more affordable". Ms Makolo highlighted the need to reduce airport charges, ground handling, overflight, parking and fuel costs.

Breeze Airways to fill gaps in market left by JetBlue/Spirit combination: CEO

Breeze Airways chairman and CEO David Neeleman stated JetBlue Airways' planned acquisition of Spirit Airlines will "open up new opportunities" for the carrier. Mr Neeleman said the transaction will open up gaps in the low cost market, which both Breeze and Frontier Airlines are preparing to fill.

Fiji Airways CEO: 'we've been working with the unions', set to welcome back redundant workers

Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen said more than 200 workers who were made redundant during the coronavirus pandemic are set to be reinstated. Mr Viljoen said: "We terminated eight expatriates, we basically had 77 expatriate pilots who were also terminated, 20 foreign staff in other airports, eight expatriates and executives and crew members", adding "We are working with the unions and we had an agreement of people who will be coming back on a short notice", noting some "have chosen not to".