BLOG: Live from Singapore – insights from the CAPA Asia Aviation & Corporate Travel Summits

Welcome to live coverage from The Blue Swan Daily of activities in Singapore at the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Asia Aviation & Corporate Travel Summits.

CAPA’s roadshow of events throughout the world offers a unique blend of high level aviation content and corporate travel management insights and best practices. It is the ONLY platform that delivers a true end to end knowledge and networking experience for the travel industry, attracting players from across the entire travel ecosystem – from airlines, airports and hoteliers through to intermediaries and travel managers.

The summit is comprised of 3 events:

  • CAPA Asia Aviation Summit
  • CAPA Asia Corporate Travel Summit
  • CAPA Asia Pacific Aviation Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner

AGENDA – View the full CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit agenda.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION! Follow the CAPA Asia Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit on Twitter and if you have any comments on the topics being explored at the Summit then join the debate: #CAPASummit.


Friday 09-Nov-2018

13:00 – CAPA Asia Aviation & Corporate Travel Summits … DONE!

A big thank you from all of the CAPA – Centre for Aviation team to everyone who attended the event this year, as well as all the sponsors that made it possible. We hope you enjoyed all the insightful discussions.

Don’t forget to visit centreforaviation.com/events for all of CAPA’s upcoming events. Next up is the 2018 World Aviation Outlook Summit in Berlin, Germany.

Also, if you have registered to receive the Blue Swan Daily newsletter for your region, make sure you do so in the top right of this screen.


Friday 09-Nov-2018

12:05 – Wait…what? Its over already? The closing panel is underway. Why do airlines fail?

Since 2001, some 300 airlines have failed around the world. There are many reasons, ranging from a poor business plan/value proposition, through to management execution, competitive responses and difficult economic conditions, including high fuel prices.

  • How important is it to achieving critical mass? And how big does an airline need to be to avoid becoming a statistic in the column of failed airlines?
  • How important are the credit card companies in the start-up and cash flow equation?
  • What other factors will determine whether we’ll see an increase in airline failures across Asia over the next 12 months?
  • How do airports respond to airlines failing?

Thursday 07-Nov-2018

12:00 – Focus on an event: CAPA’s Global LCC Summit in 2019


Friday 09-Nov-2018

11:20 – Which emerging destinations are a hotbed of activity in SE Asia?

AirAsia CEO Riad Asmat:

  • The challenge now is to find new destinations… this year we have looked at about 10 new destinations, either underserved and undiscovered.
  • On the success of the Singaore-Ipoh route and underserved routes: “We live in a region with 600 million people and they want to move.”
  • On being the launch carrier at Changi T4: “Landing into T4, we see the benefit… and it goes both ways, the benefit is never singular”…”We don’t need aerobridges and access to thousands of shops, LCC passengers just want to get from point to point and enjoy the destination.””

Jetstar Asia CEO Barathan Pasupathi:

  • We pick and choose our destinations quite carefully… we’ve been highly successful in the secondary cities we operate to.
  • Jetstar Group has more than 5,000 flights every week to more than 70 emerging destinations.
  • On growth strategy: “We codeshare and interline with 32 airlines in Singapore… we look at growth as growing partnerships, yields and codeshares.”

Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority GM/CEO Steve Dicdican:

  • I would consider ourselves a primary destination… eventually we will overtake Manila in terms of traffic and overtake Manila as a primary airport.
  • We don’t market the airport, we market the destination.

Friday 09-Nov-2018

9:50 – Low Cost Long Haul

As we head into a discussion about the low cost long haul services in the Asia-Europe market, lets take a closer look at CAPA’s recent dedicated low cost long haul event in Seville, Spain:




Friday 09-Nov-2018

9:05 – First up on Day 2, can airlines keep apace with the growth in inbound tourism to key ASEAN markets?

TripAdvisor associate director flights, APAC Priyanka Gargav:

  • On the Singapore Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines partnership: “The airline and the airport work together so well… as a cohesive unit, it’s easy for them to promote the destination.”
  • On the importance of secondary/second tier city airports: “In this part of the world, as airports become more and more crowded, it becomes essential for airlines to fly to other [secondary] airports… Sometimes it’s important for airlines to work with airports to improve infrastructure.”
  • On airport queues: “There is the chance for airlines to differentiate themselves from the hassles experienced at the airport…As a customer I understand an airline is not able to control everything.”

IATA regional VP, Asia Pacific Conrad Clifford:

  • On visas: “A lot of the success over the last five years have been countries that have eased up their visa requirements, especially for Chinese travellers… we’ve seen that in Thailand and Indonesia.”
  • On Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi expansion: “We’re asking airports to have dialogue with airlines and share their plans… to make the best use of terminals.”

TravelSky Technology director marketing & sales, international cooperation department Lars Gaebler:

  • “We’ll see a lot of airline failures in Cambodia next year, the market is very overheated.”
  • On Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport naming/branding: “I look at our customer base, like Siem Riep Angkor Airport, people recognise the name Angkor Wat but not necessarily where Siem Riep is.”

Friday 09-Nov-2018

08:45 – Photo Highlights from Day 1


Friday 09-Nov-2018

08:30 – Winners are grinners…

Check out the list of winners from last night’s CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner:

  • Japan Airlines awarded CAPA Asia Pacific Airline of the Year
  • Thai Lion Air awarded CAPA Asia Pacific Low Cost Airline of the Year
  • Alliance Airlines awarded CAPA Asia Pacific Regional Airline of the Year
  • Saudia awarded the CAPA Asia Pacific Turnaround Airline of the Year
  • flyadeal awarded CAPA Asia Pacific Start-up of the Year
  • Seoul Incheon Airport awarded CAPA Asia Pacific Large Airport of the Year (over 30 million annual passengers)
  • Mactan-Cebu awarded Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year (over 10 million annual passengers)
  • Johor Bahru Senai awarded Asia Pacific Small Airport of the Year (less than 10 million annual passengers)

Friday 09-Nov-2018

07:00 – Welcome to day two at the CAPA Asia Aviation Summit

It’s an early start and the agenda doesn’t kick off for a couple of hours but the CAPA team are on site to make sure everything is ready on what is sure to be another interesting day of discussions.


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

9:20 – The final winners…


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

8:30 – The winners so far…


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

19:00 – The tables are set, and the drinks are ready!

The tables are set, and the drinks are ready for the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner hosted by Travelport.


16:50 – Focus on an event: CAPA’s Global LCC Summit in 2019

Register your interest now…click here!


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

15:40 – The future is here: leveraging AI and new technologies for greater customer service

ICF International principal Daniel Galpin:

  • While the plane [London to Singapore] I was on was constantly transmitting data to the ground, there was no inflight WiFi. And the IFE system was pretty standard. There’s still a long way to go with digitisation.

Bluebox Aviation Systems CEO Kevin Clark:

  • Conversations with LCCs generally start with how can we monetise IFE and ancillary services, whereas our conversations with full service carriers generally start with how can we enhance our service.

Inmarsat regional director APAC Chris Rogerson:

  • What our partnership with Panasonic shows is that two competitors can come together for the sake of innovation.

Thursday 07-Nov-2018

14:20 – Aviation’s role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is being discussed on the main stage as part of the Aviation Summit, but for more detail have a look at a recent analysis piece from CAPA on this very topic.

China’s belt and road initiative and aviation


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

14:00 – Lunch was a clear distraction

Thank you to the Capella Singapore for yet another fantastic meal. Networking is definitely in full swing as our guests enjoy their meal.


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

13:15 – Time for lunch…Look out for our exclusive CAPA TV interviews

It is time for a break in the formal agenda so we can enjoy the great hospitality of the Capella Singapore.

The team have been working hard at our filming location for CAPA and Blue Swan TV. Look out for our exclusive video interviews in the coming weeks.


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

12:50 – The cost benefits of virtual payments

WEX Asia, Commercial Director, Richard Cogswell takes to the stage to deliver an overview of payment innovation and why more and more organisations are taking up virtual payments as a more flexible, seamless alternative payment platform.

We recently caught up with WEX’s Justin Cross to discover more about WEX’s products and services and look to the future of payments around the world:


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

12:20 – Distribution gamechangers: NDC – adapt or perish?

NDC continues to be a hotly discussed topic around the world. Legacy distribution systems have for decades presented airlines with the twin problems of high costs and product commoditisation. In efforts to address these issues, a handful of carriers in Europe, and now Asia Pacific, have invested heavily into establishing their own API channels with agents, while the concurrent push by IATA for airlines to implement the NDC standard has encouraged the industry to adopt a retail focused approach to distribution. The GDS will also need to evolve in order to remain relevant and to compete effectively against other intermediaries and aggregators such as metasearch companies (some of which now have direct booking capabilities), as well as digital behemoths such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook – to gain a slice of the pie.

Over in the aviation stream this important topic is being discussed.

Travelport global head of new distribution Ian Heywood:

  • Something for the industry to talk about for quite a while is the sheer amount of offers that come out… how do you then get that out to the agent and customer so they know what they want.

Travelport VP Asia Pacific, air partners Chris Ramm:

  • We’ve been looking at API long before NDC was ever even mentioned. We’re ensuring we’ve got the technology that;
  • Everywhere airline wants to understand how NDC can benefit them. There’s not a single airline from the early adopters to smaller operators that don’t want to benefit from NDC. It’s of interest to everybody because airlines don’t want to be left behind.

Skyscanner, Commercial Director, Gavin Harris:

  • On ‘crystal balling’: “Our pipeline of partners with NDC is getting healthier, we’re trying to scale the type of ancillaries that airlines can have. We realise you can’t go to heavy on customisation.”

Amadeus Regional Director APAC Kai Gerrit Jacobsen:

  • The new world of distribution is where direct and indirect distribution models are merging, how do I get my offer out in a consistent way regardless of the channel?

Thursday 07-Nov-2018

12:00 – SIGN UP to The Blue Swan Daily news, analysis and insights

The Blue Swan Daily platform has four daily newsletters covering the entire globe. Make sure you sign up for regional focused material on the aviation and wider travel industry by inputting your details in the box at the top right of this screen. The Asia newsletter is delivered every weekday at 1pm, sign up now to start receiving each edition.


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

11:30 – Asia aviation outlook for corporate travel

CAPA executive chairman Peter Harbison kicks off the discussion asking panelists…and the audience…relating to airlines, what is important to the corporate traveller?

Audience responses to level of importance:

  • OTP = 70%
  • Lounge Access = 1%
  • Priority Baggage = 5%
  • Predictability of the product = 80%
  • Digitalisation = 50%
  • Price = 70%

Thursday 07-Nov-2018

11:30 – Time to split the room…Aviation Stream on one side…Corporate Stream on the other. How will you decide?

As we split in two and delve deeper into aviation and corporate travel, lets take a look at what’s up first:

Aviation Stream: Panel

Ownership and Control, the ASEAN community carrier and cross border JVs

  • Why has the cross-border JV model been so successful in Southeast Asia?
  • What are the prospects for more JVs by Southeast Asian airline groups – within the region and outside
  • Is Myanmar an attractive market for a potential cross-border JV?
  • Can Vietnam support more JVs?
  • With the introduction of ASEAN open skies are cross-border JVs still necessary?
  • Why haven’t airlines taken advantage of open skies to launch fifth freedom routes?
  • How will the latest developments on the EU-ASEAN front, such as the finalisation of the EU-ASEAN air service agreements, affect the aviation community at the global level?
  • Will ownership and control and community carrier issues prove an anathema or way forward for the sustainability of ASEAN member carriers?

Corporate Stream:

Asia aviation outlook for corporate travel

  • The growing premium economy and business class capacity, and its impact on economy. Is premium seating drawing people up from economy or diluting the premium cabin?
  • Ancillaries: What are airlines offering corporate clients? Preferred seating, baggage, lounge, boarding processes.
  • An update on airfares: The impact of rising fuel costs and Long Haul Low Cost.
  • Airport capacity: Can corporate travellers continue to expect crippling delays around Asia?

Thursday 07-Nov-2018

11:15 – Join the conversation via #CAPASummit


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

10:50 – There’s more to a CAPA Membership than you may think

Global aviation & travel is undergoing significant and rapid change. Keeping on top of everything is one thing however, being able to leverage these insights to make a difference is another.

CAPA – Centre for Aviation is a global aviation knowledge firm providing access to the resources you need to stay connected and up to date in a fast and timely manner. We have four key pillars; news, analysis, data and events which give our customers the confidence and connections they need to make informed strategic decisions.


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

10:10 – Asia Aviation outlook 2019 and beyond

Bringing together some of the most influential leaders in the travel industry this important panel will provide an outlook of the entire travel industry in 2018 and look forward to what lies ahead in 2019.

AAPA Director General Andrew Haerdman:

  • On fuel prices and airline profitability: “The fastest growing economy in the world at the moment is India and they have the lowest profitability.”
  • “Hedged airlines face less pressure, however hedging is a little bit of a distraction.”
  • “In China it is very competitive, they’ve seen profits go down, they don’t hedge as a matter of policy and they’ve also had currency difficulties.”

BOC Aviation MD and CEO Robert Martin:

  • “We see some significantly different trends going on… To hedge or not to hedge? In North America, the big US carriers pass this [higher fuel prices] on through their fares, that tells you about the power of the pricing structures in America. Conversely, it’s the opposite in India.”
  • On supply chain: “More new engine types has had a knock on effect on existing engines and getting parts out for maintenance.”
  • On tariffs and trade: “A meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Trump will set the tone for 2019.”

Star Alliance CEO Jefferey Goh:

  • On pilot shortages: “This is definitely a chronic problem, it’s even a problem within alliances. Not only is there an issue regarding costs but as we push pilots into the market sooner, there is a question of safety.”
  • On infrastructure constraints: “One of our European members is stripping out capacity due to infrastructure constraints at airports”.

Thursday 07-Nov-2018

09:30 – Japan Airlines Representative Director, Chairman, Yoshiharu Ueki

Japan Airlines’ talks the two main pillars of the “new JAL”…JAL Philosophy and Departmental Profitability System.

Did you know? Yoshiharu Ueki was a pilot for JAL for 30 years. Mr Ueki is a pilot turned CEO, an impressive climb up the ladder.

Some interesting thoughts from JAL:

  • “JAL’s profitability has increased dramatically since declaring bankruptcy in 2010… and transformed itself into a completely different company. What made this change possible? The management team changed entirely, we have put in place a corporate mission and a sense of ownership.”
  • “Before bankruptcy, nobody at JAL took responsibility for ownership of the company.”
  • On returning to profitability: “We maintained our profitable routes… adjusted fleet and staff numbers to an optimal level. We created a JAL philosophy- all employees participate in philosophy seminar four times every year. Staff can communicate with superiors frankly, which JAL did not have before.”


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

09:10 – The future of aviation in Asia according to Peter Harbison

CAPA – Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison official opens proceedings with his aviation outlook:

  • “4 LCC groups account for 85% of orders in S Asia and SE Asia”;
  • On fleet orders: “Nearing half of all narrow body orders are from this region (Asia)… we’re looking at nearly 500 narrowbody aircraft being delivered in this region next year and 800 in total. With 80% coming from LCCs, that says a lot about where the market is going… LCCs will move to centre stage; the dominance of those airlines will change they way we fly, and they way they fly by hybridisation and connecting to long haul.”
  • On pilot shortages: “It’s no longer sexy” due to low wages, inability to retain.


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

9:00 – And we are off…as tradition dictates we start with a welcome from CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison

CAPA – Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison takes to the stage to welcome delegates to this year’s summit. We look forward to hearing from him shortly in his CAPA Aviation Outlook.


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

8:40 – Attending today’s Summit? Remember to download the dedicated app

Those lucky enough to be in attendance at today’s event can connect with Summit attendees and maximise their event experience with the Bizzabo events app.


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

8:20 – Why this is the pre-eminent aviation strategy summit in Asia

CAPA’s global events attract the highest calibre of thought-leaders in the industry. This includes strong C-Level executive representation from all travel related businesses.

Below is a snapshot of some of the key speakers you can expect from the next two days:


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

8:00 – Registrations are now open. Looking forward to an informative summit

Don’t forget to join the conversation at @CAPA_Aviation #CAPASummit


Thursday 07-Nov-2018

07:30 – The calm before the storm

It is just a couple of hours until the formal agenda starts on day one of the CAPA Asia Aviation & Corporate Travel Summits at the Capella. All is quiet in the conference hall and networking areas, although the CAPA team have been beavering away for a couple of hours ensuring a smooth delivery of today’s programme.


Wednesday 07-Nov-2018

23:00 – The stage is almost set


Wednesday 07-Nov-2018

15:30 – “History is who we are and why we are the way we are”, David McCullough

As we get set to host another ground breaking summit in Singapore, lets take a trip down memory lane to the 2017 CAPA Asia Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit.


Wednesday 07-Nov-2018

16:00 – What to expect from this year’s stellar line-up

Aviation Agenda Highlights:

  • CAPA Asia Pacific aviation outlook
  • Key market updates: India, China and ASEAN
  • LCC growth and development and the rise of low cost long haul
  • The future of partnerships and alliances
  • Cross border JVs and the multi brand airline model
  • Opportunities in airport and airline retailing
  • Optimising the airline-airport relationship
  • The evolving distribution landscape: how to optimise the selling environment through NDC, rich content, dynamic pricing
  • Using data, AI and digitalisation to cater to the needs of the modern traveller

Corporate Travel agenda highlights:

  • CAPA aviation outlook for the corporate market
  • Supply and demand forecast for hotels
  • Safety and security challenges of the mobile workforce
  • Maximising value out of your travel programme
  • Digitisation, personalisation and mobilisation of travel
  • Balancing the needs of the modern business traveller with programme objectives and policies
  • Role of travel as a procurement category

Wednesday 07-Nov-2018

16:30 – Delivering insights on all the industry’s key talking points

For almost 30 years CAPA – Centre for Aviation has been delivering market intelligence, research and data solutions that support strategic decision-making at hundreds of the most recognised organisations in global aviation. Its unrivalled reputation for independence and integrity underpins the commitment of a global team of experts who deliver a wealth of insightful analysis on the latest developments and trends affecting commercial aviation.

Here are just some of the recent insights available to CAPA members…