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.

Air India chairman and MD Ashwani Lohani on disinvestment

“Air India can ‘survive’ disinvestment and emerge stronger. Air India, still the largest airline of the country, shall hopefully remain Air India with all its inherent strengths even with a change in the shades of its ownership. With many constraints removed, perhaps the organisation would emerge stronger and realise the true potential of its men and machines. Despite shortcomings, the fact remains that the national carrier continues to proudly occupy an important place in the psyche of the nation”.

AirAsia Group ‘surrounded by monopolies’

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes stated: “It’s hard being in the airline business. We are surrounded by monopolies. Management who are not driven like us to make Malaysia and ASEAN a world beater”.

LATAM CEO Ignacio Cueto on airport charges

“LATAM has reduced its fares to ‘totally absurd levels’ on both domestic and international services”, Mr Cueto called on airport authorities and other parties to align their charges noting, “airport infrastructure must be in line with airline offerings. It’s useless to provide LCC services if a taxi to the airport costs more than to get to La Serena or Temuco”.

SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte commented on a timeframe in relation to finding a new partner for the carrier

“If you don’t act quickly, I would say in the next six months we need to get this thing sorted. We’re going to be left behind as more and more capacity is added to the market and we lose market share”. He added that the last couple of months have been very good for the carrier as they have beaten their revenue forecast every month of the financial year. “So things are turning around”, he said. “A biggest problem is the cost base. If we can reduce that we’ll be profitable this year”.

New SAA CEO aims to stabilise carrier, address financial issues

South African Airways (SAA) CEO Vuyani Jarana said he will focus on stabilising the airline and addressing liquidity and balance sheet issues. The carrier is considering five areas to improve its financial situation, including route rationalisation to save ZAR900 million (USD67.2 million); fuel management, which is expected to save ZAR520 million (USD38.8 million) by the end of FY2017/18; fleet management, with the aim to retire five widebody aircraft; and organisational structure management. Mr Jarana said: “I think in this we want to make sure that we do not allow for what the market is doing to take the airline down. We need to respond in terms of how we defend. And then we can build from that point”.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, commented on the performance of Indonesia AirAsia

“Airasia Indonesia is rocking. IPO soon. Record year for profits”. Mr Fernandes said the IPO will “hopefully” take place in 2017 and the airline will offer a 25% to 30% stake. He said the proceeds will be used to “Buy more planes, basically, and invest in new destinations”.

Travelport CEO: IAG does not recognise value GDSs bring to carriers

Travelport CEO Gordon Wilson said IAG does not recognise the “value” global distribution systems (GDS) provide carriers, ahead of British Airways (BA) and Iberia’s planned GDS surcharge due to be introduced in Nov-2017. Mr Wilson said: “The current deal BA has with us is an extraordinarily good deal. If they want to do away with it, that is up to them. Come 01-Nov-2017, they will lose the advantages they have… We are in 180 countries and Delta Air Lines has just renewed a multi-year full content agreement with us with no booking charge, nothing”.

Corporate culture and lack of unions supports productivity and efficiency for AirAsia Group: CEO

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said the company’s corporate culture and lack of unions “has an amazing effect on productivity and efficiency”.

Malaysia Airlines: CEO Peter Bellew on Qantas’ nonstop Perth-London service

The service “is going to have an impact on us. We will reschedule our flights to avoid Qantas and try and generate different traffic flows out of Perth so Qantas is not going to whack us”.