Your weekly travel and aviation Quote-a

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

AAPA CEO Andrew Herdman on strong Asian passenger and cargo growth in 1H2017

“During the first half of the year, Asian airlines carried a combined total of 155 million international passengers, an increase of 5.5% compared to the same period last year. Air passenger traffic volumes have been growing steadily, underpinned by elevated business and consumer confidence levels.”

“Global trade activity has picked up markedly since the middle of last year, with air freight volumes growing at a robust pace. Overall, Asian airlines reported a 10.4% increase in international air cargo traffic volumes during the first half of 2017, supported by an upswing in export orders for both the leading emerging markets and advanced economies.”

On the new, odd couple, JAL-VietJet “comprehensive partnership”

VietJet MD Luu Duc Khanh: “Through the agreement signed with JAL today, Vietjet once again affirms the airline’s commitment to innovation, leading market trends, and offering new services following the global integration and international standards.”

JAL PR: “The two airlines have held a series of discussions on expanding their networks in response to the travel needs of people in neighbouring Asian countries next to Vietnam, in addition to meeting growing demand for air travel between Japan and destinations in Vietnam.”

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: Brexit will open up migration for Commonwealth members

Former UK Independence Party immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe speaking in New Zealand: “The British Government is likely to adopt a flexible migration policy that benefits countries, like New Zealand. It’s about saying that we recognise there is really strong talent across the world but we needed to have that control from the unskilled labour market. It’s high-time the UK cull unskilled migrants to make room for workers from countries like New Zealand”.

(UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson believes Britain leaving the European Union will open up migration for members of the Commonwealth (Newstalk ZB, 25-Jul-2017). While visiting New Zealand)


AirAsia Group CEO would like to see change in airline ownership rules

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes: “I would like to see the rule that allows foreign airlines to own up to 49 per cent in an Indian airline changed” (Forbes India, 24-Jul-2017).

On the ownership of AirAsia India: “At the moment we have no reason to change. We are getting along well with the Tatas”, but added: “If I could own 100 per cent, why not?”

So would IAG’s Willie Walsh, amid Brexit concerns

IAG CEO Willie Walsh: the EU “Operates under an arcane system regulating the ownership and control of airlines… Those structures are unnecessary… I would prefer to see a situation whereby we don’t have to replicate [them]”. (The Financial Times, 12-Jul-2017).


Sir Richard Branson on competition in the Australian market

Sir Richard Branson, minority shareholder in Virgin Australia: “We’re very happy to fight people with fair competition. Qantas behaved like a suicidal animal just dumping tonnes of capacity on our routes to try and drive us out of market, costing themselves hundreds of millions of dollars. And then they started running out of money, going to the government with a begging bowl.” (AFR, 21-Jul-2017)


Ryanair CFO believes Alitalia ‘has the potential to be profitable’

Ryanair CFO Neil Sorahan, on Ryanair’s non-binding bid for a stake in Alitalia: “The administrators have massive abilities to restructure and do an awful lot with this business, so I’m sure they’ll want to think very carefully about what their next steps are before they come back to various parties involved” (Irish Independent, 25-Jul-2017).

“We would like to see the company radically overhauled before we’d get involved in it…There is a reason it has lost money… but if you could get your hands on something that has the potential to be profitable… but there’s a lot that needs to be done to get to that stage”.

Thai Airways needs to develop workforce through training

Thai Airways acting president Usanee Sangsingkeo: “I have been quite concerned about our human resources. The airline has not recruited new permanent staff for almost 10 years and instead has replaced departing staff with outsourced workers”. (The airline employs 21,000 staff, of which 11,000 are in operational roles, including 7500 pilots and cabin crew.)

United: Pacific market remains most challenging region, PRASM weaker than initially expected

United Airlines president Scott Kirby: the Pacific region remains its “most challenging” market, and “probably the only region that we’ve seen an actual slowdown in demand” (SeekingAlpha, 19-Jul-2017).

Mezi on the complexities of the corporate travel industry

Mezi Co-Founder and CEO Swapnil Shinde: “Cumbersome and fragmented software solutions are weighing down the corporate travel industry, where service delivery is overly complex and customer satisfaction is disappointingly low. It’s an industry ripe for disruption, and perfectly suited for the automation and personalisation AI provides”.

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