At a time of crisis, it is important that we share our insights and experience, helping each other to contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. 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: More companies will implement vaccination mandates
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby stated he believes more companies will adopt employee vaccination mandates, adding: “A few weeks from now, this is going to be something that’s widespread across the country”. Mr Kirby and other CEOs across the country were present for a meeting with US President Joe Biden, where he encouraged them to persuade other leaders to follow suit in implementing the mandates.
Lufthansa Group still waiting on EU to reopen to transatlantic travel, but US bookings are strong
Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr said the group is still “waiting for the trans-Atlantic to reopen for Europeans”, but its sales in the US show “very high demand, leading the recovery of our long haul business”. Mr Spohr also reported accelerating bookings on services to Africa and Central & South America.
Rolls-Royce CEO: ‘Fundamental’ restructuring of Civil Aerospace showing benefits
Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East said the company is already seeing benefits to its “fundamental” restructuring programme at its Civil Aerospace segment, in terms of reduced cash outflow and improved operational efficiency. Mr East said the company’s leaner cost base together with a strong liquidity position “gives us confidence in our ability to withstand uncertainties around the pace of recovery in international travel and benefit from the eventual rebound”.
New Zealand Government declares Indonesia and Fiji ‘very high risk’
New Zealand’s Minister for COVID-19 Response, Education and Public Service Chris Hipkins stated escalating coronavirus case numbers in Indonesia and Fiji means the two countries have been designated as very high risk, which limits travel from them to New Zealand. As of 23:59 on 15-Aug-2021, travel to New Zealand from Indonesia and Fiji will be restricted to New Zealand citizens, their partners and children, and parents of dependent children who are New Zealand citizens, together with any children of those parents who are not New Zealand Citizens. Other travellers from very high risk countries, including New Zealand residents, are required to spend 14 days outside a very high risk country before flying to New Zealand.
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays reports ‘sudden spike in bookings’
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy said the company welcomed the adjustments to the UK’s traffic light travel lists, and reported “a sudden spike in bookings to destinations on the green and amber Lists”. The company said its Jet2.com and Jet2holidays combined bookings for the summer 2021 season increased more than 250% to green and amber list areas, while Jet2holidays increased 300%.
TransDigim CEO: Trends in the commercial aerospace industry are ‘encouraging’
TransDigm Group president and CEO Kevin Stein reported rends in the commercial aerospace industry are “encouraging” and have “increasingly shown signs of recovery in recent months with vaccination rates expanding and air traffic improving, especially in certain domestic markets”. Mr Stein said 2Q2021 company was also another quarter of sequential improvement for its commercial aftermarket revenues.
CAE expects continued growth through FY2022 with recovery taking hold in end markets
CAE president and CEO Marc Parent reported the company expects “continued strong year over year growth in fiscal year 2022, as recovery takes hold in our end markets, we integrate our recent acquisitions and ramp up our cost savings initiatives”. Mr Parent noted the slope of recovery to pre-pandemic levels and beyond “continues to depend on the timing and rate at which border restrictions can be safely lifted and normal activities resume in our end markets and in the geographies where we operate”. CAE still expects strong growth in its Civil Aviation Training Solutions segment for FY2022.
Mesa Air Group records ‘sharp increase’ in block hours during Q3FY2021
Mesa Air Group chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein stated the carrier had a “strong” Q3FY2021 as a result of a rebound in air traffic that led to a “sharp increase in block hours” compared to Q3FY2020 and Q2FY2021. Mr Ornstein said: “While travel demand remains below pre-pandemic levels and supply chain disruptions have compounded the challenges we face in the current environment, we continue to press forward”.
London Gatwick head of sustainability: UK Government must support low carbon technologies and fuels
London Gatwick Airport head of sustainability Rachel Thompson said the UK Government needs to provide “effective policy and funding” to support low carbon aviation technologies and fuels. Ms Thompson added it is “crucial” to establish an international agreement on a net zero carbon goal at ICAO’s General Assembly in 2022. As previously reported by CAPA, Gatwick published its ‘Decade of Change’ sustainability policy in Jun-2021, detailing measures intended to meet environmental targets by 2030.
ICAO ATB director: COVID-19 recovery requires focus on facilitation activities and measures
ICAO Air Transport Bureau (ATB) director Mohammed Khalifa Rahma, via an interview with Uniting Aviation, said that as the negative effects of the pandemic on the aviation industry “result mainly from the closure of borders”, the industry’s recovery “requires a significant focus on facilitation activities and measures, which became a key priority in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the global response to challenges arising because of the pandemic”. IACO has aimed to support coordination amongst relevant state agencies and industry stakeholders via the harmonisation of air transport facilitation activities, such as essential tools for reporting health data and the content of COVID-19 test reports used for travel. ICAO has also been seeking global interoperability of digital solutions for providing health data, including proofs of negative COVID-19 tests.
Dunedin Airport CEO: Return to ‘somewhere near normal’ needed for return to travel
Dunedin Airport CEO Richard Roberts said: “We have to get back to somewhere near normal so the airlines and passengers know that they can fly and they aren’t going to get trapped”. Mr Roberts added coronavirus vaccine rates “will have to get to a point that when we open, we will be never closing it down again before we see our service return”.
Nigerian aviation requires financial relief: Accident Investigation Bureau CEO
Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau CEO Akin Olateru, speaking on behalf of Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika, stated the Nigerian aviation sector requires financial support to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Olateru commented: “Without financial relief, I do not see a quick recovery”. He added: “We need aggressive policy and we need to do much more on implementation”.