Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

7 April, 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.

Virgin Australia team felt 'huge amount of pressure' to rebuild airline: CEO

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka stated the carrier's senior team felt "a huge amount of pressure" to rebuild the airline after it exited administration. Ms Hrdlicka said: "It was lucky for us that it was COVID", adding: "It meant that the whole industry was quiet for a period, and so Virgin Australia could go through administration, could go through a very significant restructuring, and get back up on its feet before the music started again".

ADB: Cambodia's economy performing well due to ongoing tourism recovery

Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director for Cambodia Jyotsana Varma stated Cambodia's economy has continued to perform well due to ongoing tourism recovery. Ms Varma said: "Cambodia's economic outlook is positive with robust growth, shrinking current account deficit and moderate inflation in 2023". ADM added growth in services is forecast to increase to 7.3% in 2023 before easing to 6.8% in 2024.

Ryanair Group CEO: Airfares could rise by 10%-15% in 2023

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary said he believes airfares could rise by 10%-15% during 2023. Mr O'Leary added the carrier's traffic is expected to grow 10% in 2023, owing predominantly to US tourism to Europe.

Air Astana 'well placed' to take advantage of changes to traffic distribution

Air Astana CEO Peter Foster said the carrier is "extremely well placed" to take advantage of the changes in traffic distribution resulting from the start of the Ukraine war. Mr Foster said the carrier is accelerating expansion plans for the coming years. Air Astana plans to increase its fleet from 44 to 50 aircraft in 2023 and is placing orders for the period 2024 to 2027. Mr Foster noted the carrier also sees "big opportunities" in China.

Austrian Airlines CEO: Focus on profit and fleet renewal

Austrian Airlines CEO Annette Mann stated the carrier's focus is on profit and fleet renewal. Ms Mann said the carrier is in "very intensive talks with Lufthansa" in regards to new long haul aircraft, and despite "no concrete decision" having been made yet, expects this will happen in 2023. As previously reported by CAPA, in 2022 the carrier recorded its first positive annual result since the COVID-19 pandemic, with a slight annual profit of EUR3 million.

Lufthansa Cargo CEO: 2023 to be 'more normal', but not at pre-pandemic levels

Lufthansa Cargo CEO Dorothea von Boxberg stated she expects 2023 to be "more normal" but sees "no signs that we will go back to pre-pandemic levels in 2023". Ms von Boxberg added that "from what we have from our own figures and what we hear from forwarders and from short-term forecasts like the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) and so on, I think it will be a good year".

London Stansted Airport COO confirms ongoing pax experience improvements

London Stansted Airport COO Jonathan Fowler confirmed the airport is conducting passenger trials of new computed tomography scanning equipment "to comply with regulatory changes requiring all UK airports to replace current X-ray machines and increase body scanners by 2024". Mr Fowler added: "To enhance the customer experience, we're installing new seating with USB and USC charging points in the arrivals area, increasing seating capacity from 160 to 250. There is also a new Leon restaurant as well as a revamped Burger King in the area. Several other outlets, including Boots, Marks and Spencer and Costa, will also undergo refurbishment before the summer getaway"

Air Belgium CEO: Airline will have to recapitalise this year

Air Belgium CEO Niky Terzakis confirmed the carrier will launch services to the US and Asia from winter 2023/24. Mr Terzakis stated the carrier plans to add additional capital to expand its fleet and launch new routes, and it is "now drawing up a business plan for the next five to six years". Mr Terzakis added "the airline will have to recapitalise this year".