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.

London Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate on the airport’s growth plans

“We have ambitious plans to build on these results to reach 50 million passengers per year and beyond which will further set the standard for a single runway airport. This will be done while continuing to deliver the best passenger experience which is at the heart of everything we do at Gatwick”.


AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes on becoming ‘a tech company’:

“We are moving AirAsia from a transport aviation [sic] company to a tech company… We are spending lots with great returns on Data ,AI , machine learning and Robots. While this won’t happen on the plane anytime soon you will soon see Robots in AirAsia”.


Cairns Airport CEO Norris Carter welcomed increasing widebodied aircraft operations at the airport as a boost for tourism and jobs:

“A three-a-week widebodied [Guangzhou] service like China Southerncoming is actually worth AUD44 million (USD33.5 million) in GDP to the region and 286 new jobs… If that goes up to daily, it’s over AUD100 million (USD76 million) GDP and 667 new jobs. We’re putting a lot of effort into our aviation route development to do that, both to bring in tourists and to bring in belly-space to take out the agricultural produce that we grow here in the region… There’s enormous potential there with the growing international connectivity in Cairns”.


Royal Jordanian president and CEO Stefan Pichler on eliminating competing carriers:

“I try to own the market so I try to kick everybody out”, adding: “I am there to operate a profitable airline, so if a competitor reduces my profits I want to kill them”. Mr Pichler also said the airline will reduce its cost base and commoditise products, stating: “When we need to act like a low cost carrier, we do that. If there is a low cost airline who challenges us, we have to fight it. And we can”.


Air Astana CEO Peter Foster noted the need for the carrier “to be present in big foreign markets which are within four hours distance of Kazakhstan”:

“So, obviously India is a huge market”. Mr Foster added: “What we have demanded is allow free visa for Indian passengers for 72 hours… transit passengers will be crucial for us”. Mr Foster said the carrier will not compete against “hubs like Dubai and Abu Dhabi” but is proposing “new destinations like Moscow, St Petersberg, Ukraine, Georgia”.


Jin Air CEO Choi Jung-ho on the carrier seeking to become a larger player after its listing on South Korea’s main bourse on 08-Dec-2017:

“Jin Air is trying to secure an unparalleled competitive edge through an overhaul of its mid and long haul routes… We will fly high to become Asia’s representative low cost carrier and ultimately the best industry player in the world”.


Etihad CEO Peter Baumgartner on American Airlines decision to terminate the commercial relationship:

“The unfortunate decision by American Airlines to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left Etihad with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth. We are open to American Airlines reversing its decision to cancel our codeshare agreement so that Etihad Airways can continue the route and together protect and support American national interests and global connectivity while driving commercial value for both airlines”.


Qantas CEO Alan Joyce on the consequences of Brexit for global travel and the aviation industry

“I hope there is a good compromise and that exit negotiations are managed carefully. We all know it could be a shock for the Irish and the UK economies but [also] for the world economy”. On implications for Qantas, Mr Joyce noted the airline has a “big base” in London and a “lot of our employees are in Continental Europe who fly to the UK”. He questioned: “So will their work permits and work ability still apply? There’s huge implications for businesses like ours that are on the other side of the world”.