Exclusive airline interviews from the 2018 CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Summit

The South Pacific aviation market has enjoyed relatively benign operating conditions in the last couple of years, allowing the region’s carriers to record some of its best ever results. Major inbound markets are performing well and bringing solid traffic growth.

Against this backdrop, Australia/New Zealand carriers are exploring the latest aircraft technology, opening up new city pairs, realigning their hubs and reviewing their partnership strategies on key markets such as the Trans Tasman and Trans Pacific.  But as we head deeper into the year, changing macroeconomic conditions, rising fuel prices and growing trade protectionism could cause major headwinds in the industry.

The outlook for Australia and New Zealand aviation for the medium term was discussed during the recent CAPA – Centre for Aviation Australia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit. Alongside the summit, The Blue Swan Daily conducted exclusive interviews with some of the senior attendees. Here’s some insights from the airlines…

Hawaiian Airlines – delivering a network now more reflective to visitor demand

Hawaiian Airlines president and chief executive officer Peter Ingram highlights that the carrier has been growing earnings in a way that reflects its strategy is working and says the airline now provides a network of services that better reflects demand. He discusses how the A321neo has changed the way the airline has been able to look at capacity, frequency and scheduling; how the airline has been targeting expansion in Asia, especially in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and why the latter and South Korea could be key future growth markets.

Regional Express – airport owners do not understand the difficulties of regional aviation

Regional Express executive chairman The Hon John Sharp highlights that airport owners do not understand the difficulties of regional aviation and charge too much for the services they offer. He highlights that even in markets where it is the sole operator, it does not hold a monopoly due to strong competition with the motor car and urges a review of airport charges and services. He also discusses that while pilot training is a “cost centre” its training academy makes pilot training a potential profit centre and a potential “big export earner” for Australia.

Cebu Pacific – an e-commerce company with aeroplanes

Cebu Pacific chief operations adviser Rick Howell describes the LCC as an e-commerce company with aeroplanes as it embraces technological change and builds on its strong brand presence in the Philippines to grow its international network. He notes how capacity is growing between the Philippines and Australia and the airline’s own activity in this competitive country market that is home to a notable Filipino diaspora. But, it is not just about heritage and VFR demand and he discusses how the airline is trying to sell the Philippines an alternative to Bali as a leisure destination.