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.


    Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan responding to London Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye’s comments on Heathrow being a “unique” hub “connecting all of Britain to the growing markets of the world”:

    “Contrary to Heathrow’s claim, it is far from being unique in connecting UK businesses to global markets. We’ve shown with new services to China, the US and the Middle East in the last few years, that Manchester Airport is the North’s global gateway and plays a huge role in driving the Northern Powerhouse forward. The truth is that airports across the UK are doing far more to support jobs and stimulate regional economic growth than Heathrow ever will… That’s why we need Government and politicians to focus on what they can do now to support growth and improved connectivity across the UK – and not be misled by Heathrow’s preposterous suggestion that it somehow has a monopoly on connecting Britain to the world”.


    Philippine Airlines president and COO Jaime J Bautista on the airline receiving a four star Skytrax rating:

    “This recognizes the great improvements that the airline has introduced over the last two years, both in terms of product change and development and enhancement of the front-line staff service. New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process, and this looks set to develop further when Philippine Airlines introduces the A350 into their fleet”.


    Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist on plans to further integrate Brussels Airlines with Eurowings:

    “Brussels Airlines is a pivot of Brussels Airport’s activity. The local market at Brussels is twice a big as the Frankfurt market, Lufthansa knows this well”, he continued, noting Lufthansa plans to conserve the position of Brussels Airport as a hub and continue to develop Brussels Airlines. “We’re not worried, but we will remain attentive to the evolution of the situation”.


    AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail on the airline moving from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport to Melbourne Avalon Airport:

    “We are going to put all the savings of operating out of Avalon back into reducing fares. It will stimulate the market and promote the Geelong region”.


    London Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate on the airport’s record 2.8 million passengers handled in Jan-2018:

    “January’s traffic shows that US destinations are increasingly popular and next month we’ll be providing even more options for passengers travelling Stateside with the launch of new routes to Austin and Chicago. These new connections will be joined this summer by British Airways’ biggest summer schedule at the airport in almost ten years – a 15% increase in weekly flights compared to last year”.


    American Association of Airport Executives president and CEO Todd Hauptli responding to the Trump Administration’s USD1.5 trillion infrastructure plan:

    “If Washington is serious about airport infrastructure investment, it will move quickly to approve the bipartisan proposal on PFCs that is under consideration as part of the FY 2018 budget package”. He said: “Lifting the outdated federal cap on airport user fees would allow airports to utilise local dollars for investment immediately and to leverage those resources through bonds to further multiply their benefit into the future – 100 per cent consistent with what the President has outlined today”.


    National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) on the draft FY2019 budget proposal presented by President Donald Trump appears to endorse an ATC “giveaway to the big airlines”:

    “NBAA has always supported investments in aviation, including some of those in the president’s budget… But, it’s no surprise that the idea of handing over the nation’s ATC system to what amounts to an airline cartel has raised concern or opposition from lawmakers in both parties”.


    Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker on the impact of the airspace “blockade” of Qatar by the Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE:

    “We have increased maintenance costs because we are flying longer routes, we have more fuel consumption, so the cost to the airline is rising and I have already stated that the airline will post a loss this year due to the blockade”. He said the size of the loss “depends on how quick we will be able to mature the new destinations that we are operating instead of the destinations that were taken away from us during the blockade”. Mr Al Baker added: “This doesn’t mean that we are going to shrink” and said: “We will keep on expanding and growing the company”.


    Jet Airways Group on its 11th successive profitable quarter in the three months to Dec-2017:

    “Our efforts to streamline costs to ensure our competitiveness reflected in the continued fall in our non-fuel CASK to INR 3.02 during the quarter. The process to rationalise our cost structure is an ongoing one and will continue. Notwithstanding our challenges of low domestic fares and the rise in fuel prices by almost 20%, we expanded our Boeing 737 fleet as well as overall capacity by 8.7%, deepening our presence on key domestic and international routes.”