CTC – Corporate Travel Community brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.
Airbus CEO: Vast majority of airlines will survive, but will have to adapt ‘big-time’
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said he expects the “very vast majority of airlines will manage to survive the pandemic” although they will “have to adapt big-time” and to “restructure, to resize, to re-plan everything, to reschedule”.
TUI Group CEO: Denying passengers without COVID-19 vaccine ‘would be a mistake’
TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen said requiring COVID-19 vaccines for all passengers “would be a mistake” and that testing will be “absolutely the important thing” in safe resumption of travel. Mr Joussen added the introduction of vaccinations from 1H2021 “will significantly increase demand” for the mid 2021 holiday season, and confirmed TUI is “ready for a speedy and successful resumption of travel activities as soon as the lockdowns are lifted and destinations reopen”.
Etihad Airways sees long term sustainability silver lining to pandemic
Etihad Airways VP guest service Linda Celestino said the enforced operational pause due to the coronavirus pandemic has supported the carrier’s sustainability efforts in the long term, leading it to introduce changes such as “removing unnecessary packaging and unnecessary weight on aircraft, with buy-ins from vendors, suppliers and staff”, as well as other adjustments in catering and aircraft transfers.
Transavia France CCO: ‘Last minute’ decision making the new norm with COVID-19
Transavia France CCO Nicolas Henin said that operational decision making “at the last minute” has become the new norm as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, he noted that the challenge is now to try to convince passengers to book with the carrier within an increasingly shorter period of time. He also argued that while price sensitivity will be a “decisive criteria” for the decision to travel in the future, travellers will be also more attentive to other qualitative elements such as brand, reputation and airline values and social responsibility.
WTTC CEO: ‘Six months is not enough’ for no-deal Brexit
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) president and CEO Gloria Guevara stated “there are compelling reasons why the UK should be added to the EU’s ‘safe travel’ list”, due to lower COVID-19 infection rates than much of the EU. Ms Guevara said: “While WTTC welcomes maintaining basic air connectivity in the event of a no-deal [Brexit], six months is not enough… Suffocating international travel is counterproductive and benefits no one”.
Southwest Airlines ‘very confident’ that 737 MAX will return to service ‘no later than April’
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said he is “very confident” the carrier will be operating revenue service with Boeing 737 MAXs “no later than April”. As regards the airline’s evaluation of 737 MAXs and A220s to replace older aircraft, Mr Kelly stated: “As long as we can get where we need to be with a MAX 7, then I think we’re good. The A220 is the other viable option, and it’s a newer airplane. It’s always good to have options”.
London Heathrow Airport CEO: Tourist tax may be the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for businesses
London Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye stated “2021 should be the year of Britain’s economic recovery” however, due to “recent announcements, such as the tourist tax” it may be the “final nail in the coffin for struggling businesses such restaurants, hotels and theatres that rely on inbound tourists, as well as for retailers”. Mr Holland-Kaye said: “To make Global Britain a reality, the government should be helping the aviation sector to survive, to develop routes to our key trading partners, and attract businesses and tourists to come to Britain to spend their money”.
Aer Lingus interim CEO: Ireland’s economy ‘cannot wait’ for widespread vaccine rollout
Aer Lingus interim CEO Donal Moriarty said Ireland’s economy “cannot wait for widespread vaccination programmes to be rolled out”, with a fast, affordable and more scalable testing system, combined with the EU “Traffic Light System” being “are the immediate enablers that are required to ensure safe travel”. Mr Moriarty said: “Over the past 20 years alone, the airline business has suffered from the aftermath of 9/11, the grounding of flights due to volcanic ash, and the economic impacts of the global financial crisis – events that have now been dwarfed by the scale and duration of the COVID crisis”, and with the carrier “taking all steps within its control to increase consumer confidence”.
Dubai Airports CEO: Many major traffic flows ‘still remain with difficulty’
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said that while a “lot of major traffic flows still remain with difficulty”, it is expected that the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine on a global scale will allow for markets to “recover very quickly”. He noted that each region is faced with its “own particular issues”, adding that Australasia is unlikely to open up “at any stage in the near future”, while Europe “remains critically important”.