CTC – Corporate Travel Community brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know during the recent Aug-2021 edition of CAPA Live – a monthly virtual summit, offering insights, information, data and live interviews with airline CEOs and industry executives across a next-gen virtual event platform.
EUROCONTROL director general: Environmental change is not about surrendering aviation
EUROCONTROL director general Eamonn Brennan stated “What I’m conscious about is to be an advocate for aviation, not to just lie down and surrender and say ‘we’re a polluting industry so you can kill us every way you want’. We need to map out change, how we’re going to become carbon and NOx neutral and also how there’s going to be new technology in aircraft”, adding “We don’t believe at EUROCONTROL that taxing aviation reduces emissions”.
Airbus VP zero emission aircraft: Industry needs a combination of SAF and renewables to meet targets
Airbus VP zero emission aircraft Glenn Llewellyn stated sustainable aviation fuel will be mandatory to meet the industry’s various climate targets, adding: “What we also want to do and prepare the aviation industry for is essentially to be high renewable energy. This means synthetic fuels, hydrogen based fuels, scaling up direct air carbon capture… I think we do really have the potential to be flying in the future with no climate impact”.
Air NZ chief operational integrity/safety officer: Sustainability a ‘clear…platform in our strategy’
Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and safety officer David Morgan stated “some airlines are thinking very deeply about sustainability” in the time of coronavirus. Mr Morgan said there is however a “number of airlines that are actually struggling and are in survival mode, and of course, this… sometimes can get put to the back of the queue”. Mr Morgan noted: “As far as Air New Zealand is concerned” sustainability is a “clear… platform in our strategy”.
Envest Global ED: There is still ‘a climate change question to deal with’
Envest Global executive director (ED) Brett Mitsch stated “I think people are starting to turn their attention to climate change”, adding “there is still… a climate change question to deal with”. Mr Mitsch said: “I think COVID has… amplified and accelerated some of that thinking… around… where to next”, adding climate change has “not gone away in that regard”.
airBaltic CEO on codeshares: It is ‘very beneficial to have many different partners’
airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss commented on the airline’s codeshare partnerships, stating it is “very beneficial to have many different partners”. Mr Gauss said codeshare partners contribute by offering strong sales and marketing in their home markets and added: “They make a significant contribution to our revenues”.
IAG group head of sustainability: Offsetting is an interim mechanism until we have GHG removal
IAG group head of sustainability Jonathon Counsell stated (08-Sep-2021) “We see offsetting as an interim mechanism to help us achieve our carbon reduction targets”, adding: “Longer term we would expect that we would move to greenhouse gas (GHG) removal technology post-2035 when that technology matures”.
Viva Aerobus CEO: Mexican Government was right not to support industry
Viva Aerobus CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua stated the Mexican Government “made the right decision” in not supporting or interfering with the industry at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Zuazua said the government’s definition of the industry as essential allowed the airline to recover much faster than in other regions, as it was allowed to continue flying and operating.
Europe ‘can serve as the role model’ for sustainable aviation: Brussels Airlines CEO
Brussels Airlines CEO Peter Gerber stated Europe “can serve as the role model for the whole world” on reducing aviation greenhouse gas emissions. Mr Gerber said sustainability measures for airlines in Europe can only be successful under a “competitive neutral” arrangement that ensures a “level playing field” with competitors outside Europe. Mr Gerber said he is “quite optimistic” that European authorities will listen to the concerns of airlines.
Bangkok Airways: Airport ownership ‘good revenue stream’
Bangkok Airways president and CEO Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth it’s ownership of Koh Samui Airport, Sukhothai Airport and Trat Airport is a “good revenue stream”. Mr Prasarttong-Osoth said the ownership of Koh Samui makes managing flights from the airport easier on the carrier. He added: “We control the slot and we can create the flights according to the demand”.
IBS Software: Every airline found a way to manage their businesses
IBS Software president and head Jitendra Sindhwani stated “The pandemic hit everybody in the same way, there was a shock initially but every airline found a way to manage their businesses and how they would respond”. He added: “When they were looking on where to go from there, technology played a big role”.
Icelandair exceeds 50% of 2019 capacity in Aug-2021, targets 75% recovery by 1Q2022: CEO
Icelandair CEO Bogi Nils Bogason reported the carrier exceeded 50% of 2019 capacity in Aug-2021, after operating below 50% pre pandemic levels in Jul-2021. He stated recovery is expected to increase through winter 2021/2022, despite recent timetable revisions and new coronavirus outbreaks impacting US sales, with aims to reach 65% of 2019 capacity in 4Q2021 and 75% in 1Q2022.
LATAMPass CEO: Shifting from B2B2C to B2C approach requires investment in technology
LATAMPass CEO Ralph Piket stated the company is aiming to shift from a B2B2C to a B2C approach, in order to build a more direct relationship with customers. Mr Piket said building the right ecosystem would require a lot of investment in technology, adding that a shift to a more client centred approach will be “one of the biggest challenges” for loyalty programmes around the world in the coming years.
IATA SVP sustainability & environment: CORSIA, biofuels are key strategies to combat climate issues
IATA SVP sustainability & environment Sebastian Mikosz stated a good strategy to combat global climate issues would be the serious implementation of the association’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Mr Mikosz added: “We also need to implement and develop the presence of biofuels such as sustainable aviation fuel; we are lacking supply and the prices are way too high. We need to incentivise producers to lower the cost and airlines to use them more and more over time”.
WestJet: Asia Pacific flights ‘couple of years down the track’
WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims stated “What’s frustrating is I would have liked to by now be flying to Asia Pacific”, adding: “Thats probably another couple of years down the track but it will come”. Mr Sims said: “I’m excited about building from our core strengths, building where we already have those foundations and spreading that international network across Canada”.
Air Astana CEO: Timing of FlyArystan launch was ‘extraordinarily fortuitous’
Air Astana president and CEO Peter Foster commented on the launch of FlyArystan in May-2019, stating: “The timing was extraordinarily fortuitous”. Mr Foster noted: “Low cost airlines always do well after recessions” and added: “The demand for FlyArystan has been phenomenal”.
Connect Airlines aiming to launch services to Philadelphia and Chicago from Toronto by end 2021
Connect Airlines CEO John Thomas stated the carrier aims to start operating services from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Philadelphia International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport by the end of 2021, pending regulatory approval. The airline will use Q400 aircraft, with Mr Thomas predicting a “real resurgence” in the use of turboprops in the US domestic market.
Flycana to target VFR and leisure market segment
Flycana CEO Frederik Jacobsen stated the new carrier will aim for a diversified network comprising North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Mr Jacobsen said the airline’s target market will be VFR and leisure travellers from the Dominican Republic. Flycana is aiming to launch in 1Q2022, with a goal of handling six million passengers per annum by 2027.