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.
Qantas CEO: Travellers will still need to complete at least four COVID tests
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, speaking on the sidelines of the IATA AGM, stated Australian travellers will still need to complete at least four COVID tests as well as be fully vaccinated when flying internationally with the carrier. Mr Joyce said the carrier is collaborating with IATA to develop a new Qantas smartphone application that passengers can access to upload and verify vaccination status and COVID-19 test results. He added: “There will be an electronic arrival form that people have to fill in to come into the country which will have the details of where they’re staying”.
AerCap CEO: Not good for anyone if airlines aren’t financially stable
AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly, speaking on the sidelines of the IATA AGM, said if airlines are not financially stable within the next three to four years, then “that is not good for any of us”. Mr Kelly added that aviation equipment manufacturers, lessors and capital provider “all have to take our time with the recovery” and will “have to do some more heavy lifting in the next couple of years”.
Wizz Air CEO: SAF and carbon offsets ‘are more greenwashing than real at this point’
Wizz Air CEO József Váradi commented on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and carbon offsetting, stating: “In my mind, SAF and carbon offsets are more greenwashing than real at this point”. Mr Váradi said operational measures, such as improving route efficiency and using more fuel efficient and higher capacity aircraft, would be more effective at reducing emissions. Regarding the improvement in emissions from introducing A321neo aircraft with new engine technology and higher seat density, Mr Váradi said: “There is no SAF in the world that is going to achieve that”.
Lufthansa CEO: Chinese border regulations hurting recovery
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr stated the carrier is very concerned about coronavirus travel and border restrictions in China hurting the carrier’s recovery. He said: “We are not only slowing down our recovery at Lufthansa, which is also my concern, we are slowing down the recovery of the economic relations between China and Germany”.
ATAG: Direct aviation employment expected to be down 21% at end of 2021
Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) acting executive director of the cross-industry Haldane Dodd stated direct employment aviation jobs will likely be 21% lower at the end of 2021 that before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Dodd said this is “positive when compared with the same time last year, when 43% of jobs were estimated to be at risk”, but the recovery has not been felt by the international tourism sector “meaning that jobs supported by aviation more broadly are only half of the pre-COVID-19 level”. Under normal circumstances, aviation and the tourism it facilitates supports 87.7 million jobs, including around 11 million jobs within the sector itself.
Delta CEO: Bookings ‘bottomed out’ at end Aug-2021 and early Sep-2021
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian stated the carrier’s bookings “bottomed out” in late Aug-2021 and early Sep-2021, adding: “Business traffic is growing back in the US”.
Tourism & Transport Forum: Resumption of international travel ‘will be a lifesaver’ for tourism
Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) stated the resumption of international travel for Australian states and territories that have reached 80% full vaccination from late Nov-2021 “will be a lifesaver for the nation’s tourism industry”. TTF CEO Margy Osmond said: “This staged international reopening… provides certainty for the future of our tourism, transport and aviation industry”. Ms Osmond said TTF will work with the Australian Government to ensure that the home quarantine requirement “tapers off as quickly as possible” as more people are vaccinated. TTF will also call for inbound international tourists, international business travellers and those travelling for major events to be allowed to travel as freely as Australians.
SpiceJet has a ‘reasonable chance’ of achieving break-even in 4Q2021
SpiceJet chairman and MD Ajay Singh said the LCC has a “reasonable chance” of achieving break-even in 4Q2021, due to cost reductions, aircraft lease payment renegotiations, a recent increase in air travel in India and the growth of SpiceJet’s cargo operations.
Royal Jordanian CEO: Rising oil prices a ‘big concern’
Royal Jordanian CEO Samer Majali, speaking on the sidelines of the IATA AGM, said that rising oil prices is a “big concern”. He said that at a price of USD60 a barrel would be more viable, benefitting airlines and oil production nations. The price of oil reached USD77.7 a barrel on 03-Oct-2021.
ACI World: IATA tone on airport charges is ‘disappointing’; now may be time for a charges rethink
ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said it is “disappointing” to hear the tone IATA has set in its statements regarding airport charges. Mr de Oliveira said the airline association’s claims about the airport industry “are out of context and don’t reflect the efforts made by airports to support the aviation ecosystem during the pandemic”. He added airports have also experienced “enormous” financial stress, made drastic cuts to “keep afloat” and have not received the same level of support compared to carriers in many jurisdictions. Mr de Oliveira suggested this “may be a moment to rethink the economic oversight of airport charges to something that is more reflective of market conditions allowing for risk to be shared across airlines and airports”.
Transport & Environment: Net zero wont be accomplished without binding national climate laws
Transport & Environment aviation director Andrew Murphy said the aviation sector will not be able to reach its 2050 net zero emissions commitment “unless it accepts binding climate laws set at national level”.