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.

fastjet CEO Nico Bezuidenhout noted the dangers of state owned airlines becoming a political football instead of being operated on business merits:

“The management of an airline must have a clear mandate, objectives and measurement in place. Management must also be appropriately capacitated by the shareholders”, Mr Bezuidenhout said. He also noted the need for more efficient deployment of capital in Africa. He said: “Often state-owned companies don’t get the best bang for their buck. One just needs normal negotiation skills. We negotiated the best prices for Mango. Just because it is state-owned does not mean one must not get the best prices… This does not mean it cannot be resilient. It just means one has to take that variable into account when designing a flag carrier, for instance, how big it can be”.


British Airways CEO Alex Cruz on the carrier’s Israel leisure route network saying:

“The airline will consider flights to Eilat by a new brand in competition with low cost airlines”


Flybe CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener on the carrier’s financial results for the six months to Sep-2017, stating:

“While half-year profits are lower than last year, due to the one-off IT contract costs, higher maintenance expenses and the impact of the fall in the value of sterling, I am confident that we are on a clear path to sustainable profitability through the investments and improvements we are making at Flybe. In the second half, we will focus on improving our cost base and reliability performance while preparing the business for the future as we invest in the new digital platform”.


IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac on the speed of Brexit negotiations and its impact on aviation, stating:

“The pressure is mounting, with passenger numbers predicted to grow irrespective of Brexit… Solutions need to be found quickly to ensure a smooth transition”. Mr de Juniac added: “At a minimum, the flight schedules and seat and cargo inventories must be available at least six months in advance… So that puts the airlines’ deadline at October 2018 – just 11 months from now”.


Etihad Airways CEO Peter Baumgartner on the airline’s investments in airberlin, Alitalia and Jet Airways

Regarding airberlin, he said: “They didn’t turn around their business at the rate and scale that we were expecting and demanding, and thus we had to rethink our approach”. He added: “With Alitalia, there was a business plan with the board and the shareholders, and even the government of Italy believed in, and they were willing to support. But staff voted against it so that was the kind of end of that”. Mr Baumgartner described Etihad’s investment in Jet Airways as “hugely successful” and said: “It was the right thing at the right point in time for one of the emerging travel markets”.


VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao on the airline plans to expand international operations:

“We aim to expand international flights in the next few years. We want to make international flights 60 per cent of our total flights. We are also studying the possibility of using widebody planes for long haul flights when market conditions are favourable”.


Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai on the launch of Samoa Airways and the results of previous airline JV’s in Samoa:

“In hindsight we should never have entered into a joint venture in the first place… Twice we did it with Ansett and later with Virgin – both Australian airlines – and the results were disappointing. So important lessons have been learnt. Today marks a historical milestone for our country and our airline. This is indeed a momentous occasion and this development is one that our country needs and should have done a long time ago”.


Emirates chairman and CEO Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum on the airlines commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10 aircraft: 

“We see the 787 as a great complement to our 777 and A380 fleet, providing us with more flexibility to serve a range of destinations. The announcement also speaks to our confidence in the future of aviation in the UAE and the region”.