The Blue Swan Daily brings you a roundup of the most thought-provoking and interesting comments from those industry leaders in the know.
Israir CEO Uri Sirkis on suspending Haifa services in summer 2018:
“The Ministry of Transport is opening the skies to foreign airlines and the Ministry of Tourism and the Israel Hotel Association are paying diverse incentives to foreign airlines to fly to Israel, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the security department are closing the routes of the Israeli airlines because of disputes between them”.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly on the carrier’s key objectives for 2018:
“We begin 2018 focused on our goal to expand margins and profits, excluding special items. Our balance sheet and liquidity remain strong, with manageable debt service and capital spending this year. Based on the current outlook and our commercial initiatives and objectives, our goal remains to achieve positive unit revenue growth in 2018, year-over-year”.
Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos on Norwegian Air Argentina receiving an AOC from Argentina’s Government:
“We are honoured to receive the authorisation by the Argentine Government and we thank the Minister of Transportation Guillermo Dietrich and his team for the trust in Norwegian. This is great news that shows that we are getting closer to the start of our operations in Argentina with our safe, efficient and friendly service”.
SpiceJet CEO Ajay SIngh on seaplanes boosting India’s tourism sector:
“If it (operating seaplanes) is done properly, sea planes can be a big thing. There are no rules and regulations as of now and as soon as the rules are in place and if a proper framework is introduced, we can do substantial connectivity with seaplanes. We can see a lot of interests from several states and the Prime Minister using a sea plane has given it a further push. Everyone feels it can boost tourism in a very big way in connecting places that are difficult to access by roads or any other means but have rivers and ponds. SpiceJet was the first to bring them to India with an aim to use them in areas where it was difficult to build airport infrastructure”.
Aero Contractors CEO Ado Sanusi on the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market programme by the African Union:
“For now there is no level playing field for all the airlines in the continent. All the countries involved must have a visa on arrival policy that is working, they should also give consideration to privately owned airlines and state owned airlines because the latter has unfair advantage over the other. Government airlines have fair access to credit, they enjoy waivers and they are protected by government but privately owned airlines do not enjoy those privileges. In a good climate, open skies is very good because it will boost intra African trade, tourism and connectivity”.
GMF AeroAsia CEO Iwan Joeniarto on reports it has selected Air France-KLM as a strategic investor to acquire a 20% stake in the MRO provider for USD200 million:
“GMF and several potential investors are currently conducting due diligence, and the process is targeted to be completed at the end of this year’s quarter one  or at least in the beginning of quarter two… GMF hopes that the [future] strategic investor will not only support funding, but also transfer knowledge to GMF to improve our capabilities, market share and the company’s brand”.
IAG CEO Willie Walsh on introducing a new 10 year visa for Chinese visitors:
“We need a step change on China. We make it hard for Chinese tourists to visit. The USA charges GBP119 for a 10 year visa while Britain charges GBP767. Making it easier for Chinese businesses and tourists to come to the UK is critical to boosting our economy and enhancing global trading links, especially post Brexit. We continue to lose out on the new jobs that Chinese investment and affluent tourists bring”.
CAPA India CEO Indian Subcontinent & Middle East Kapil Kaul on the skills and resource shortage at India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation:
“According to our estimation, the regulator is short of around 800 staff relative of their responsibilities. The aviation ministry has made significant efforts to make changes but has not succeeded. Hence, an independent civil aviation authority (CAA), along the lines of UK is required as soon as possible”.