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.

    Southwest Airlines still ‘confident’ about 737 MAX despite ‘crisis like challenge’

    Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said the carrier and its pilots are “confident about the MAX”, despite the “crisis like challenge” which the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX has created (Seeking Alpha, 23-Jan-2020). The carrier’s goals for 2020 including reentering the MAX into service and settling on compensation with Boeing, whilst keeping its “network intact”. Mr Kelly noted the airline’s seat growth is unable to maintain leverage with demand, in turn causing Southwest to “lose share”, although this is expected to be “aggressively” recaptured once the 737 MAX is reentered into service. The carrier is now delaying the retirement of its 737-700s “where it makes sense” and “monitoring the used 737 market”.

    Ryanair warns of job losses due to Boeing 737 MAX delivery delays

    Ryanair DAC CEO Eddie Wilson, in an internal memo to staff, warned of potential job losses due to further Boeing 737 MAX delivery delays (Reuters, 29-Jan-2020). Mr Wilson said: “I have asked our commercial team to work up their proposals for these 10 aircraft reductions in summer 2020, and I hope to have their final recommendations over the next week… We will do our best to avoid any more base closures, but this will mean eliminating at least 10 aircraft from existing bases, and so further pilot and cabin crew jobs losses cannot be ruled out”. As previously reported by CAPA, Ryanair expected to be operating 737 MAXs as early as Apr-2020, however Boeing has now indicated deliveries are more likely to occur in autumn 2020.

    Istanbul Airport expecting around 75m pax in 2020: CEO

    IGA Havalimani Isletmesi AS CEO Kadri Samsunlu said Istanbul Airport is expected to handle around 75 million passengers in 2020 (Hurriyet, 29-Jan-2020). “We will serve more than 100 million passengers in five years”, he added.

    A4A CEO: PFC increase a ‘bad idea that won’t fly’

    Airlines for America (A4A) urged (29-Jan-2020) the US Congress to invest into infrastructure projects, such as roads and bridges, instead of an increase of the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). A4A president and CEO Nicholas E Calio stated: “With billions of dollars already pouring into our nation’s airports, fleecing travellers with unnecessary taxes is a bad idea that won’t fly”. He also noted that airport directors “are unable to name a single improvement project that can’t be completed due to a lack of funding”. A4A said the proposal to increase airport taxes is unpopular with voters, with 80% of participants opposed to it. [more – original PR]

    Qantas to provide three Indigenous scholarships for new Pilot Academy

    Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce announced (29-Jan-2020) the company will provide three scholarships, valued at AUD85,000 (USD57,390) for Indigenous students at Qantas’ Pilot Academy at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport in 2020. Future scholarships will be provided for female students and candidates from regional and remote areas. [more – original PR]

    Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO calls for urgent funding for tourism diversification

    Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen reported: “Additional destination marketing funding is urgently needed to assist with market diversification” due to China‘s suspension of international organised group travel (Tropic Now, 28-Jan-2020). Mr Olsen said: “The future of our region hinges on our ability to adapt to changing visitor needs globally” as some businesses have had “up to 40% of their Chinese group bookings cancel over the next fortnight”.