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.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh on reports of potential participation in the Air India bidding process:

“We could probably look at it, but I have always dismissed the idea of Air India while government ownership is involved. What the government is saying now is a million miles away, and better than has been said in the past. But I do not think it would be enough to encourage us to look at it. There appears to be some appetite, but I would want to see some evidence of restructuring. So I think it would be a risk that would not be justified at this stage. So the answer is no”.

British Airways (BA) CEO Alex Cruz on the airline’s commercial agreement with China Southern:

“It is an important arrangement for both the UK and China, to drive tourism and economic and cultural exchange”. Mr Cruz aims for BA to “become a significant player in China, and we will continue working on how we can develop beyond the existing connections we have in the country”. Mr Cruz called on the UK Government to take “urgent action on its visa policy by making it easier for Chinese businesses and tourists to come to the UK”, adding: “China is the world’s second largest economy and we need to do all we can to encourage these trade links”.

easyJet former CEO Ray Webster on low cost long haul operations:

“I’m really not a fan of it. I can see the opportunity and good luck to the carriers but I don’t see it coming to the mainstream market”. Mr Webster concluded: “If you travel long haul for six or eight hours you want some comfort. For young people and students that will be fine but in terms of the mass market I don’t see it having a broad base”.

Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena on the carrier’s 1Q2018 financial results

“We faced a challenging fare environment in the domestic market, influenced by a significant capacity increase in the industry. Having the lowest unit cost, is the most important competitive advantage in this environment… Additionally, our ancillary revenue performance has been successful”.

WestJet CEO Ed Sims on the carrier’s international potential, citing possibilities in Asia, Europe and Latin America markets:

“There is absolutely unlimited opportunity … to tap in to vast markets in Asia, still huge markets in Europe, an enormous market in Latin America, with unlimited opportunity to boost tourism to this country”.

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker on the company declaring a large loss

“The company remains very robust. We are still expanding, we are still investing, we are still buying airplanes. We will keep on expanding, keep on recruiting not firing people, not parking airplanes [or] shrinking the network, doing exactly the opposite”.

Emirates Group chairman and CEO and flydubai chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saaed Al Maktoum on the Emirates and flydubai partnership:

“We’re really pleased with how well the Emirates and flydubai partnership is going – based on bookings and the feedback from our customers and trade partners”. He added: “We have seen a strong demand for travel on combined Emirates-flydubai itineraries from Europe and the United States to the Middle East and West Asian destinations”. CEO Gillian Tans on the Booking Holdings acquisition of FareHarbor:

“Today travel is fuelled by technology, yet the local experiences and attractions marketplace is still largely offline… FareHarbor’s technology allows local tours and attractions to easily bring their businesses online.  We see an immense opportunity to leverage this technology to bring more local experiences online, benefitting the entire global travel ecosystem for both consumers and local businesses by allowing them to connect instantly through a seamless digital experience”.