Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

The Blue Swan Daily brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.


Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths on Qantas’ decision to transfer from Dubai back to Singapore:

“The move does not represent a growing challenge for the airport. Services through Dubai between Europe and Australia will grow as a result of Emirates’ increased frequencies, which will occur when Qantas moves some of their traffic to Singapore in Mar-2018.” He continued Dubai is “very well spread”, with the airport expecting approximately 1.3 billion additional passenger journeys to terminate or originate within Asia by the mid 2030s. Dubai Airports is “very bullish about growth”, Mr Griffiths, noting growth has continued unabated. Mr Griffiths said “we have not lost anything to Singapore”, adding the airport is growing is much faster than airports in its peer group and Dubai Airports “are very very confident that our growth will continue to outstrip all of the competitor airports around the region”.


Air Tahiti Nui chairman and CEO Michel Monvoisin, on the airline’s performance

“The airline has experienced continuous growth since 2013, with local political stability, the lower fuel price and tourism growth all contributing to the airline’s positive performance in recent years. The carrier is looking forward to its fleet modernisation, with Boeing 787s to replace A340s, and expanding its codeshare network, as contributors to growth. Air Tahiti Nui is highly dependent on inbound traffic and there is a structural limitation in our growth”.


AirAsia CEO on ‘logical’ US west coast expansion plans

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes commented on the carrier’s US west coast expansion plans capitalising on limited US-Southeast Asia connectivity. Mr Fernandes added: “Rather than trying to beat a dead horse with [flying to] Europe… it seems logical to make America our next frontier… New York is not the immediate future, but the West Coast is not far off”.


Iberia CEO Luis Gallego on LEVEL’s business model

“LEVEL’s business model differs from Iberia’s and market analysis conducted indicated LEVEL’s customer profile is different from that of Iberia, therefore not affecting Iberia’s operations at Madrid Barajas Airport”. Mr Gallego stated that with LEVEL: “We want to stimulate the market… In one and a half months, we haven’t seen any cannibalisation of our operations from Madrid. I think the cost structure and fare level is stimulating the market and capturing people we weren’t going to capture. If we don’t do it, someone else will”.


IAG CEO on Air France’s LCC Joon

IAG CEO officer Willie Walsh stated  that Air France’s decision to launch its new Joon business as a “lower cost” airline aimed at the millennials market will simply translate into “lower losses” for the national carrier. “For them lower cost means less losses, but it won’t be profitable genuine low cost”, he said. “Giving a low cost label on an airline doesn’t guarantee success.


Sky Airline CEO Holger Paulmann on LCCs in Argentina

“We think that Argentina domestic is not ready for LCC or ULCC, the main reason for that is the minimum fares, for a similar stage length in Chile, are higher than the average ticket price within Chile… If you’re not able to sell below the minimum fare, then you wont be able to differentiate from the FSC, and they are going to have a full offering”. Additionally, Mr Paulmann pointed out the ground handling and fuel supplier monopoly in Argentina as hampering factors for the LCC model. In addition, the airport operators environment is also absent of competition.


Qatar Airways on US investment

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said the carrier is still looking for investments in the US despite opposition to Qatar’s proposal to buy a stake of up to 4.75% in American Airlines Group. Mr Al Baker also criticised US airlines such as Delta Air Lines, United Continental Holdings Inc and American Airlines, which are lobbying the Trump Administration to curtail Qatar’s access to the US market, citing unfair subsidies, stating the US carriers should “just shut up and mind their own business”.


IAG CEO on Ryanair staffing issues

IAG CEO officer Willie Walsh that the aviation industry will learn from Ryanair’s current ‘mess up’ on the over-allocation of pilots’ holidays and said the low cost carrier has an unparalleled ability to overcome such adversity. “I don’t get any pleasure out of it. I’m sure the blood on the wall has probably been washed off now. They’ll fix it, their ability to fix things is unparalleled. We’ll all learn from it. It’s better to have other people make mistakes and learn from them than to make them yourself”, he said.