CTC – Corporate Travel Community brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.
Qantas CEO: Qantas ‘not going to see operations’ to EU or US ‘until we see a vaccine rolled out’
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said due to coronavirus levels in Europe and the US, “We’re not going to see operations to those destinations in any real strength until we see a vaccine rolled out”. Mr Joyce predicted a vaccine rollout may take place “towards the end of 2021”.
Ryanair Group CEO: ‘I don’t think long haul, low cost works’
Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary said: “I don’t think long haul, low cost works”, as it is “a different model” and overall “a different business”. Mr O’Leary said: “The lowest cost will win” for a short haul market, as it is “commoditised, as long as it’s safe and it’s punctual and it’s on time, it works”.
Virgin Australia former CEO: Jayne Hrdlicka ‘is the right person to take on’ role of CEO
Virgin Australia (VA) former CEO Paul Scurrah said: “We mutually came to the agreement [with Bain Capital] that I would leave” Virgin Australia as CEO, and that incoming CEO Jayne Hrdlicka “is the right person to take on and deliver their plan and to deliver to the expectations I have as an investor”. Mr Scurrah noted “the reason why they have appointed” Ms Hrdlicka is “quite often, you see private equity will go to people they know and people who they feel as a safe set of hands and aligned to their outcomes”.
Lufthansa: Contactless processes a ‘big plus’ for travel experience during COVID-19 pandemic
Lufthansa Group executive board member Christina Foerster commented on Star Alliance’s rollout of its new biometrics platform at Munich Airport and Frankfurt Airport. She stated that biometrics will become “increasingly important when travelling in the future” and will ensure simplified and more efficient processes at airports to improve the travel experience. She added: “Especially during the pandemic, such touchless processes at the airport are a big plus”.
Emirates Group to become profitable ‘within the next 18 months’: president
Emirates Group president Tim Clark said he believes the company will return to profitability “within the next 18 months, two years”. “We will certainly be cash positive during the course of the back end of next year , returning to profitability in [financial year] 2022-2023”, he added. Sir Tim expects the company will be able to return to pre COVID-19 levels and re-enter markets in a way that will be “as well and as large as we always did”, provided its cash position is in “good shape”. He stated: “Cash is king”.
SWISS CCO: Travel industry recovery ‘going to take a long time’
SWISS CCO Tamur Goudarzi Pour, in an interview retweeted via the airline’s Twitter account, said while the Swiss economy can recover relatively quickly, it is “going to take a long time” for the travel industry to rebound post-COVID-19. He said it will take “at least a couple of years… to see some reasonable numbers that we can compare to the previous years”, adding traffic will take up to five years to rebound.
ACI Europe president: Vaccine news positive but industry requires ‘immediate and interim solution’
ACI Europe president Jost Lammers acknowledged (17-Nov-2020) that the emerging news of an effective vaccine is positive news for airports, but underlined that the aviation sector cannot wait out the inevitable time challenges of safety confirmation and herd immunity. He continued: “We need another immediate and interim solution to go through the winter and probably most of next summer. The solution lies in replacing quarantines for air travellers with testing. This is about doing better managing and reducing transmission risks, and saving livelihoods”.
SpiceJet Cargo CEO: Indian airlines must ‘wake up’ to the potential of international cargo
SpiceJet Cargo CEO Sanjiv Gupta stated Indian airlines “have to wake up and understand the potential of international cargo”. He said international cargo is “the hidden jewel of cargo business in terms of profit”, but noted foreign carriers account for 95% of India’s international cargo. Mr Gupta stated: “We can change that to a 50:50 split in two-three years if Indian carriers do their fleet planning for cargo. Then we can become a formidable player in international cargo markets”.
Vienna Airport: Vaccine availability provides a ‘glimmer of hope for reinvigorating’ travel sector
Flughafen Wien AG management board member Günther Ofner said the availability of effective vaccines in the near future is “encouraging” and provides an “important glimmer of hope for reinvigorating the aviation sector”. He added that until this happens, the airline industry requires a practical COVID-19 testing strategy using antigenic testing to compliment PCR tests, as well as European-wide and globally uniform travel regulations.
Elenium Automation CEO: ‘if we don’t wipe out COVID, we have to live with it’
Elenium Automation CEO Aaron Honrlimann stated “For aviation to open up again, we need to start operating on the assumption that even if we have a vaccine, it may not be 100% effective” and it “comes down to mathematics”. Mr Honrlimann said “middle of next year is the earliest we will open up, though it could be longer”, noting “if we don’t wipe out COVID, we have to live with it”.
Cornwall Airport Newquay MD: ‘we will start to lose parts of this industry’ without Government support
Cornwall Airport Newquay MD Pete Downes said the UK’s Government “has to decide how much of this industry it wants to have left at the end of this period”. Mr Downes said: “Everybody has been surviving with drastically reduced revenues, with no sector-specific UK government funding”. Mr Downes noted if no government funding is provided during winter, “we will start to lose parts of this industry. And once they are gone we will not be able to get them back”.