Catch up on some of the most thought-provoking discussions and keynotes from the 2017 CAPA-ACTE New Zealand Aviation and Corporate Travel Summit in Auckland. Below is a snap shot of key quotes from some of our honoured guests in attendance to discuss what is affecting the industry in this part of the world.
CAPA – Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison, stated:
- “Google Flights is an extremely powerful tool. The data that Google has on customers is incredible.” Mr Harbison believes predicting the impact Google will have on the travel industry is almost impossible, “what we can agree is that it will be bigger than even we know.”
Air New Zealand CRO Cam Wallace, stated:
- The discussion concerning LCCs over the past 15 years ago has shifted from “whether the low cost carrier model would be viable”, to whether the model is viable for low cost long haul (LCLH). Mr Wallace confirmed the carrier was “looking at Norwegian‘s model” and is preparing a competitive response should a LHLC carrier came to New Zealand;
- “Emirates decision to cease operating on the trans-Tasman route is a smart decision”. Mr Wallace added Air New Zealand “will look at capacity options on the three markets, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, which has previously been over supplied.” When commenting on the impact this will have on fares, Mr Wallace continued, “Due to the over supply, there will be no impact to fares. What impacts fares is the high taxes associated with trans-Tasman travel”;
- “Our new Boeing 787-9 aircraft is not sustainable for us to do beyond point to point travel. Our new aircraft will allow us to continue this and focus on single flight routes”;
- “More and more unbundling of fares is occurring around the world. There hasn’t really been an airline that has unbundled their product and it hasn’t been successful. It always results in profit.” Mr Wallace confirmed Air New Zealand is investigating further opportunities for more unbundling to meet passenger needs;
- “Air New Zealand wants to create a future where we are at the front of digital revolution”. Currently, the carrier is focused on four main digital innovations, including: Chip, the robot personal assistant, collaboration with Commonwealth Bank of Australia; Hollow lense, a personalised tool for crew to assist with traveller personal preferences; Oscar, an AI bot recently launched and receiving about 1000 requests per day; and further personalisation of IFE;
- “Our business to Argentina is going better than ever anticipated. Australians form a large portion of travellers on this route.” Regarding future growth in South America, Mr Wallace commented, “at the moment our focus is frequency into Argentina, not route development.”
Malaysia Airlines global head of sales Yeah Hock Thye, stated:
- The airline’s A380s were now available mainly for charter on the Kuala Lumpur-London route.
- The airline was in the process of restructuring routes, in order to “focus on Asia, Australia and New Zealand“. Mr Hock Thye believes this will play to the carrier’s core strengths and allow it to have a more sustainable future.
Hong Kong Airlines GM New Zealand Daniel Yuen, stated:
- “Our JV with Virgin Australia has just begun and we are still developing the relationship. We hope to attract travellers with a variety of choices for Australia and New Zealand to construct their own itinerary based on their own interests and needs”.
Auckland Airport GM aeronautical commercial Scott Tasker, stated:
- “It is disappointing to see Emirates pull out of the Tasman route, however if you looked at the trans-Tasman service rationally, it probably doesn’t make sense to have the carrier on the route. Aircraft technology improvements means Emirates doesn’t need to service Auckland via Australia.”
Transport and Tourism Foundation (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond, stated:
- The productivity outcomes out of the trans-Tasman reform would “take an hour and half out of the commute”. As previously reported by CAPA – Centre for Aviation, TTF recently released a report titled ‘Fast Forward: Streamlining trans-Tasman Air Travel‘, outlining avenues to “deliver a smarter, better experience for passengers flying between Australia and New Zealand.” Ms Osmond believes reform would: remove 1.2 million people out of the international queues; reduce congestion, improve visitor experience, improve efficiency and productivity for airlines and airports; and simplification of border processing;
- Trans-Tasman travel reform could be extended to other countries including China. Ms Osmond said: “Why couldn’t we select other markets, such as China, and offer travellers a domestic experience when coming to Australia and New Zealand This would give us a competitive advantage and encourage tourism.”