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.

    New Zealand Airports Association (NZ Airports) reported “New Zealand is flying blind when it comes to good data and reporting on aviation” and needs “to learn from major setbacks” to “build a more resilient and transparent aviation system”. NZ Airports CEO Kevin Ward reported: 

    “New Zealand is way behind in this public transparency compared to other countries” and that Australia has a well developed system. Mr Ward said better information would have “helped competition regulators when the codeshare agreement between Air New Zealand and the Qantas Group was proposed a year ago, potentially affecting Jetstar’s future operations in New Zealand”.

    Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith on the carrier receiving its first A350-900 (F-HTYA, MSN 331) in Toulouse: 

    “A simplified, harmonised and more competitive fleet is integral to our future success, and we are doing this by investing in more modern, high-performance aircraft with a significantly reduced environmental footprint… we are charting a new course, one that will contribute to the global influence of two major French brands and carrying the French flag around the world for all to see”.

    SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson on the impact of climate change on the aviation industry:

    “If we cannot articulate and demonstrate that, not just as a single carrier but as an industry, a trustworthy plan for the future, you will see regulation… You will see that different states will step in and try to kind of reduce travel and that is a very scary proposition”.

    Avianca CEO Anko van der Werff warned airlines to beware of macro-economics and political situation in their own domain before embarking on expansion plans:

    “Airlines have never needed good finance departments as much as they do now”, adding that “growth for the sake of growth” is negatively afflicting the airline industry. He urged caution and said that when airlines feel optimistic about capturing a market, it is often assumed that external factors such as political, environmental, economic, will remain equal. Mr van der Werff added that Avianca’s “new boring vision is simply back to basics… The growth has been too much, our customers are complaining, on-time performance has suffered so you are alienating your corporate customers and even your pilots, in our case”.

    World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) partnered with Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan and the launch of its new tourism visa programme. WTTC president & CEO Gloria Guevara stated:

    “The potential for tourism in Saudi Arabia is limitless” as the country has “a wealth of natural and cultural resources” that are “yet undiscovered” by international travellers. Ms Guevara added: “Travel & Tourism growth will not only create jobs and a diverse economy but will also spread a new understanding of Saudi Arabia’s rich culture around the world”.

    Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith admitted Sydney “would be a very nice addition to the network” however the group is “not working on that at the moment”. He explained the group’s new A350-900s being incorporated into Air France are “suitable for the longest distances within our network”, but A350-900ULR required for nonstop service to Australia is currently not being considered as a fleet option.