Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

31 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.

Western Sydney Airport CEO: 'Great cities these days are built around airports'

Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport CEO Simon Hickey said: "The more supply, then that will have a positive impact from a customer perspective on prices", adding "We are building, ultimately, the gateway to Sydney". Mr Hickey also noted that: "This airport is the linchpin for future growth and development in Western Sydney", highlighting that "Great cities these days are built around airports".

Honeywell Aerospace CEO expecting eVTOL sector growth to be 'really slow at the beginning'

Honeywell Aerospace president and CEO Mike Madsen said he expects commercial eVTOL operations to commence in 2025, but the growth of the sector will be "really slow at the beginning". Mr Madsen expects eVTOL aircraft to initially be mainly limited to cargo and military applications. He expects Honeywell's eVTOL equipment related sales to reach approximately USD2 billion by 2030. Mr Madsen commented: "There will be some initial vehicles introduced that'll be used for some limited use cases maybe under some pretty strict requirements, and then it will take off". He added: "The regulation is going to be the challenge, not the technology".

Australia's Minister for Trade and Tourism: Tourism business numbers bouncing back

Australia's Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell stated "Tourism business numbers bouncing back", adding "The number of businesses in Australia's tourism sector grew by about six per cent last year, according to a new report by Tourism Research Australia". Mr Farrell said the Tourism Research Australia report "shows a welcome boost in the number of sole traders in the tourism sector, with an additional 16,400 additional sole traders joining the tourism sector last year, a rise of 10.7 per cent".

Swissport CEO: 2023 'is much more stable' than 2022

Swissport president and CEO Warwick Brady reported a "stabilisation of the market" in 2023, adding: "This year is much more stable than the previous year". Mr Brady reported a "more stable forecast" for 2Q2023 and 3Q2023 with "strong demand and traffic". Mr Brady noted "quite a strong demand for travel", despite the economic outlook, but added that the cargo market has "softened a bit" over the last six months.

NACC president: 2023 Federal Budget represents 'missed opportunity' to improve air travel

National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) president and CEO Jeff Morrison stated the 2023 Federal Budget "represents a missed opportunity to improve the overall air travel system", noting the lack of concrete measures to strengthen the sector through investment to support infrastructure modernisation. Mr Morrison alleged the Canadian Government is "signalling that air travel may become less affordable for middle-class Canadians" due to increased charges. Mr Morrison called for a full review of all fees and service charges, as well as investment in airport infrastructure and biometrics.

Jazeera Airways CEO: 50,000 weekly seats would be 'more than adequate' to meet India demand

Jazeera Airways CEO Rohit Ramachandran stated an allocation of 50,000 seats per week for the carrier's India operations would be "more than adequate" to meet demand. Mr Ramachandran said there is "huge demand" for connectivity to India, with the carrier awaiting additional seat allocation to increase capacity. Mr Ramachandran noted the currently allocated 12,000 seats per week was last increased in 2007, with the Indian population in Kuwait since increasing by 267%.

Sydney Airport CEO: Select international markets to have more capacity in Apr-2023 than all of 2019

Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport CEO Geoff Culbert stated "The ongoing momentum in the international recovery is also exciting, with international passenger volumes forecast to be more than double what they were during Easter 2022". Mr Culbert added: "Across markets like India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Canada we will have more airline capacity in April than we did at any point in 2019", noting it demonstrates "Sydney's enduring popularity as a destination and the impact of our joint commitment with the NSW Government to the Aviation Attraction Fund".

Niceair CEO: Traffic around Iceland needs to be better distributed

Niceair CEO Thorvaldur Ludvik Sigurjonsson stated the "the big challenge is to expand the destination Iceland", citing a recent study showing only around 80% of foreign tourists in Iceland go outside the capital area or the south. Mr Sigurjonsson labelled the results "an absolute dead end to growth and progress", and added "the traffic of tourists around the country needs to be better distributed".

JetBlue Airways to cut New York schedule in spring/summer 2023 amid ATC shortages: CEO

JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes reported the carrier plans to reduce its spring/summer 2023 schedules in the New York City area due to air traffic controller shortages. Mr Hayes stated New York's air traffic control centre staffing is at 54% of required levels, compared to the national average of 81%, adding JetBlue and other airlines must cut schedules "in order to cope". US FAA advised carriers that if flights in NYC were not reduced, flight delays would increase 45% compared to summer 2022, which Mr Hayes noted is "not feasible".

CemAir CEO: Full recovery in South Africa may take 'a year or two'

CemAir CEO Miles van der Molen stated the airline does not expect the South African market to fully recover to pre-COVID-19 levels "for a year or two". Mr van der Molen commented: "It's a little unclear exactly what the full recovery will be". He added: "A lot of it does depend on the trajectory of the country's economy, because airline passenger volumes do track the economic fortunes of their nation to a large extent".

PLAY to be as large as the market allows: CEO

PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson stated the carrier wants to grow its fleet to 10 aircraft "to gain scale in the business", but it is not in the market to create growth. Mr Jónsson added PLAY expects to reach 15 aircraft in 2025, and "will be as large as the market allows".

NEOM Airlines to launch in late 4Q2024: CEO

NEOM Airlines CEO Klaus Goersch reported the carrier is expected to launch in late 4Q2024. Mr Goersch stated the airline will operate from Neom Bay Airport, aiming to enable travel to and from NEOM for tourists, residents and commercial partners. Mr Goersch noted NEOM's resorts are scheduled to open in early 2024, hence the carrier will need to service demand "quickly" by retrofitting existing aircraft, however the carrier will update its fleet from 2026 with "new innovative aircraft".