Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

21 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.

United Airlines CEO: International demand growing at twice the domestic rate

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby reported demand remands strong despite macroeconomic risks. Mr Kirby noted the rise in international demand, which is growing at twice the domestic rate. Mr Kirby stated the demand increase and the carrier's high operating cash flow will keep United on track to achieve its full year adjusted diluted earnings per share target. The carrier reported a net loss of USD194 million for 1Q2023.

ITA Airways CEO: Alitalia brand will return to market

Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways) CEO Fabio Lazzerini stated the carrier is "studying a couple of interesting projects" for the Alitalia brand, adding "it is a brand that will come back on the market". Mr Lazzerini said the carrier is now "waiting for the possible and desirable conclusion of the negotiation with Lufthansa to share this project with them".

United Airlines to establish SAF refineries 'all across the globe': Sustainability director

United Airlines director of environmental sustainability Christine Landmeier stated the carrier plans to establish sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) refineries "in locations all across the globe" as the SAF industry grows. Ms Landmeier stated the aviation industry will need to rely on refineries to process waste and other feedstocks into SAF, however she noted the SAF industry is "in its infancy" hence refineries are yet to be widespread.

Wizz Air CEO expects 'some problems' in operating environment in summer 2023

Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi said "some problems" should be expected from the operating environment in summer 2023. Mr Varadi said: "I think we will have hiccups out there. I think everyone, all the stakeholders, have made significant investments into a more resilient operation, learning from the issues last summer. But I don't think this summer will be perfect".

Porter Airlines extends VIPorter loyalty status match promotion for WestJet frequent flyers

Porter Airlines extended a promotion offering WestJet frequent flyers membership to its VIPorter loyalty programme through 31-May-2023. Travellers interested in matching their status will receive a trial 120 day VIPorter Avid Traveller membership, with Avid Traveller level granted to be based on the member's current WestJet rewards level. Porter Airlines SVP and CCO Kevn Jackson stated the offer appeals to WestJet customers in eastern Canada "who either no longer have access to flights or have greatly reduced flight options in their communities", noting Porter's "extensive" eastern Canada network.

Air Malta chairman expecting seamless transition for Malta to a new national airline

Air Malta executive chairman David Curmi stated a transition to a new national airline for Malta "will be largely seamless". Mr Curmi said "we are nearing the end of long, difficult and complex discussions with the European Commission, which did not want a photocopy of Air Malta". According to Mr Curmi, the new airline "will have its own booking platform and tickets will be sold there", with Air Malta to "continue operations until the very end when the new airline will take over". Mr Curmi added the national carrier "will never be" a low cost carrier, and will "continue flying to key airports in key cities while continuing to fly cargo which is increasing exponentially because of an improvement in service".

A4A member airlines recruiting 'aggressively', heavily investing in new staff: CEO

Airlines for America (A4A) president and CEO Nicholas E Calio stated A4A member airlines are recruiting "aggressively" and heavily investing in the next generation of employees. Mr Calio noted A4A continues to partner with US educational institutions to assist graduates in securing careers

WestJet remains 'unwaveringly committed' to achieving new competitive pilot agreement: CCO

WestJet CCO Diederik Pen stated the carrier remains "unwaveringly committed" to achieving a new collective bargaining agreement with its pilots. Mr Pen noted the carrier aims to reach an agreement that is "competitive" within Canada's airline industry and ensures the carrier's long term sustainable future. WestJet pilots represented by ALPA voted to authorise strike action if a new agreement is not reached by 16-May-2023.