The Blue Swan Daily brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.
AirAsia India CEO and MD Amar Abrol on fuel price and domestic fare increases:
“Fuel prices are not going to go that radically up over a long period of time. On increases in domestic fares, there has been not much increase, partly we are passing it through partly we are not. We are launching so many new routes that when they are launched we obviously keep our fares low. Fuel has gone up by about 8-10 per cent on 45-50 per cent of our cost so the effective increase on profit and loss is anywhere between 3 and 5 per cent”.
Eurowings CEO Thorsten Dirks on Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s continuing efforts to acquire LGW Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter:
“We are prepared to give up a large number of slots to achieve approval from the EU Commission; we submitted our revised commitments in Brussels yesterday. The aim is for all of the company’s 870 employees to move over to Eurowings with their existing employment contracts”.
Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerly on the impact from Southwest Airlines’ entry into the market:
“The Southwest Effect occurs mainly in markets where prices are not competitive to begin with… It’s typically one carrier serving it. They charge very high prices. I think when you look at the Hawaii market, we have very competitive prices. Southwest is just going to be another airline amongst half a dozen or more that are going to enter the market”.
South African Airways (SAA) CEO Vuyani Jarana on the state’s upcoming decision on the merger of South African Airways, SA Express and Mango:
“I’m quite confident about the prospects of SAA. I’m more confident than I was when coming in because I’ve seen things that need to be done – complex as they are – but they are not rocket science commercially. The other airlines are operating. Why would one airline not be successful and it’s quite simple: it’s a case of doing the right things, commercial delivery, looking at your cost base, being ruthless with efficiency… we need to give ourselves a little bit of headway to compete in the market by improving efficiencies”.
IAG CEO Willie Walsh on London Heathrow Airport’s perceived lack of transparency regarding expansion costs:
“It’s unacceptable that a monopoly can charge these prices without having to explain why. Heathrow’s project costs frequently increase substantially from their original budget without any justification. No one using Heathrow knows what they are paying for, how can that be right? Britain needs cost-effective airport infrastructure that benefits the country’s economy rather than Heathrow’s shareholders. This is even more critical if the UK wants to compete on the global stage post Brexit”.
easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren on the carrier’s acquisition of airberlin assets at Berlin Tegel Airport:
“This move is consistent with easyJet’s strategy of purposeful investment in strong number one positions in Europe’s leading airports. As a result of our acquisition, easyJet will operate the leading short haul network at Tegel connecting passengers to and from destinations across Germany and the rest of Europe. This is in addition to easyJet’s existing base at Berlin Schönefeld and means that easyJet will be the leading airline to and from Berlin”.
Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon on the development of sustainable alternative fuels (SAF):
“For aviation the development of SAFs remain a real challenge and none of the biofuel projects since 2008 have commercialised or scaled in a way that has brought them to market. SAFs are a real solution for us solving our carbon problem but we do not see them coming to market until another decade from now”.
British Airways CEO Alex Cruz on the carrier’s China strategy and new codeshare agreement with China Southern Airlines:
“Codesharing will help to drive tourism and economic and cultural exchange between the UK and China, by facilitating reciprocal leisure and business travel… We want to achieve our vision of becoming the most popular European airline among Chinese customers”.
SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte on the carrier’s focus for 2018:
“Our shareholder, the Government of Sri Lanka, has recognised the need for the airline to restructure, as the burden on the national economy will become unbearable unless losses are contained. To this end, the services of world-renowned consultant to assist the management in this task, has been secured”. On government support for restructuring efforts, Mr Ratwatte said: “The government is committed to solving the cost of capital and the interest cost of our debt. Reducing our corporate costs and transforming ourselves into a much leaner, fitter and more nimble airline, which can respond quickly to changing market forces, is a task we must accomplish ourselves. Once these issues are addressed, we will be in a position to start growing again and assert our role as a major player in the Indian Ocean arena”.