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.

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker on the airline’s plans to establish a full service airline in India:

“Our lawyers have started working on our application. Indian foreign direct investment rules clearly state that a foreign entity can own 100% of a domestic carrier and we are going by that rule” but said Indian nationals will make up the majority of the planned airline’s board, including the chairman. Commenting on the level of competition from existing full service carriers in India, he said: “India is such a big aviation market that if there are 10 airlines, there will be stomach for more… India is a huge market which is underserved”.

LOT Polish Airlines CEO Rafał Milczarski on the airline’s new Budapest-New York service:

“For LOT it is also a completely new chapter in its history. For the first time in its 90-year history LOT is launching a connection to North America from outside Poland. Importantly the transatlantic connections from Budapest will supplement the offer of flights from Warsaw, rather than be a direct competition”.

Philippines AirAsia CEO Dexter Comendador on the six month closure of Boracay Island:

“We’re trying to share each other’s tourists in the AirAsia Group to bring them in here. Boracay is just a glitch. There’s Panglao, there’s Puerto Princesa, there’s Davao, there’s Cebu. There are other places”.

France’s Ministries of Economy and Transport on Air France-KLM chairman and CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac submitting his resignation:

“It will be up to the board of directors to define the conditions for ending the current crisis. The group has strong assets but also many challenges in a very competitive market”. The Ministries “salute the courage of Jean-Marc Janaillac and the work he has done for two years in the group”, while calling on “everyone’s sense of responsibility in order to allow the company to continue its development”.

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown on a potential direct All Nippon Airways or Japan Airlines direct service from Tokyo:

“There’s ongoing discussions with both airlines but it won’t be this year. It would be nice to see it happen but there’s a reality check on aircraft availability and other factors, and we’re also competing with other destinations around the world”. In addition to Japan being an “important market for us”, Mr Brown also noted: “So is mainland China, and so is India”. He said: “There’s lots of opportunities there, and direct flights create a stimulus in the market, maybe by 40-50%, just because it’s easier for people to jump on those routes”.

Amadeus president and CEO Luis Maroto on the organisation’s financial performance in 1Q2018 which was negatively impacted by depreciation of the US dollar relative to the euro:

“Air volumes in our Distribution segment grew at a steady pace. We also continued to secure and expand content for our subscribers by renewing or signing content agreements with nine airlines”. Mr Maroto added: “We also progressed well on our upselling efforts, with existing customers like Qantas contracting further Amadeus solutions”. Looking forward, the company expects to “maintain a positive growth trend”.

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths, speaking at the CAPA Global Airport Leaders’ Forum, on the airport handling passenger traffic growth which is expected to increase to 1.8 billion p/a by 2034:

“Dubai has long understood the need for well designed infrastructure. We have invested well over USD12 billion in infrastructure since 2008 to boost capacity at [Dubai International Airport] upon completion… however in other parts of the world this story is very different”.

Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) CEO Mohamed Al Binfalah on new technology which includes an app to track passengers’ baggage, ready for testing before the new terminal at Bahrain International Airport goes live in Sep-2019:

“Baggage tracking is one of those products in the new app which is at the design stage. Any initiative that brings airlines and airports closer and integrates their operations is in the right direction, whether it is about baggage, passenger experience, retail or car parking. All of these ideas are collaborative in nature and allow passengers to have more pleasant experience”.