> Soundbytes: travel and aviation industry insights – week ending 15-Sep-2023

Soundbytes: travel and aviation industry insights – week ending 15-Sep-2023

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.

Flight Centre Travel Group CEO: ‘We’ve won a lot of business in corporate’

Flight Centre Travel Group CEO Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, stated “We just need cheaper airfares for better value for our customers, people will travel more and it will even out the bumps”. Mr Turner said: “Over the last three and a half years our model has changed, we’ve won a lot of business in corporate and in leisure we shut a lot of shops”. He noted: “We want a mix of volume and profit”.

SWISS CCO: Loadings on our flights are now higher than they have ever been before

SWISS CCO Tamur Goudarzi Pour stated “in the wake of the pandemic, it has now become clearer than ever that travel is a deeply-rooted human need, especially among the younger generations”. Mr Pour added “the demand for air travel continues to steadily rise, and the loadings on our flights are now higher than they have ever been before”.

Capital A CEO: AirAsia operations to return to pre-pandemic levels by Dec-2023

Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes stated he expects to see AirAsia’s operations return to pre-pandemic levels by Dec-2023. Mr Fernandes stated: “We’ll never have 204 (planes fully operating) because we always have some planes (in) maintenance… For me, to get back to 190 planes operational is pre-COVID”. He noted AirAsia’s operating level was between 50% and 60% in 1H2023.

Eurowings CEO: Demand for tickets remains high

Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof stated “demand for tickets remains high”, with this being observed in the carrier’s home market of Germany, as well as its stations in the Czech Republic, Austria and Sweden. Mr Bischof added the “strong summer trend is therefore continuing in the fall”, while “people are also booking more long term again”.

ATEC MD expecting ‘quadrupling’ of Southeast Asian travellers by 2040

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) MD Peter Shelley commented on the release of federal government’s Southeast Asia economic strategy to 2040. Mr Shelley said the report outlines “both the potential and opportunity the tourism industry has in realising a very available market of Southeast Asian visitors”. He added: “With an expected quadrupling of Southeast Asian traveller numbers by 2040, up to 181 million annually, Australia’s proximity and uniqueness offer both opportunity and challenges, particularly in ensuring our product is fresh and engaging and our service can meet expectations”.

Lufthansa CEO: Pratt & Whitney engine issue ‘will have a significant impact on us’

Lufthansa reportedly plans to extend the service life of older A320 models, as well as lease aircraft, to minimise the impact of the recall of Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbo-Fan (GTF) jet engines, due to maintenance issues. CEO Carsten Spohr said the carrier expects to have 20 of its A320neo aircraft out of service at any given time over the next few years due to the repairs of their Pratt and Whitney engines. Mr Spohr said the carrier is also “mixing and matching engines so that planes aren’t grounded” when the GTF engine is in for inspection and possible repair. He added “it’s too early to give more detailed numbers, but this will have a significant impact on us”.

Philippines AirAsia reports strong rebound in travel: CEO

Philippines AirAsia CEO Ricky Isla reported the LCC is recording a strong rebound in international and domestic travel over the coming months. Mr Isla said: “We see our guests now preparing early for their vacation during the latter part of this year. This positive reception from our guests will help us jump start our goal of growing our market share next year through the mounting new flights to East Asia with the help of the reactivation of our Kalibo and Clark hubs”.

CEO: Dublin Airport ‘needs to get a modest increase’ in airline charges

daa CEO Kenny Jacobs said Dublin Airport is seeking an increase in its cap on airline charges to between EUR10 and EUR11. Mr Jacobs said the current maximum of EUR8.50 “just makes life hard”, adding: “We do want an increase that will allow us to have a fantastic infrastructure programme that will make the terminals better, but also allow us to give our passengers outstanding standards that we have done this summer… We need to get a modest increase in the airport charges from something like EUR8 to something like EUR10 or EUR11, and still be infinitely cheaper than Heathrow, because that’s what we want to be”.

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