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.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary on airberlin’s insolvency process

“When Malev went bust, everybody stepped in… But there’s no gap to step into here because they’re going to keep the airline flying”. Mr O’Leary criticised the German Government and Lufthansa’s involvement in the process, stating “All this is down to prevent Ryanair growing in Germany, but it won’t stop us”. Mr O’Leary stated a merger would take Lufthansa from 68% to 95% of the German domestic market, and from 47% to 60% control of the total German market. He said a merger “would be in breach of every known competition threshold rule and guideline in Germany and the EU”.

Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt is not expecting competition issues regarding Lufthansa interest in airberlin

“There is no transfer of airberlin as a whole to Lufthansa, there are parts of the business that will go to Lufthansa and there are interested parties for other bits of the business so we do not expect cartel difficulties”.

Germany’s Minister of Economics and Energy Brigitte Zypries is expecting airberlin loan to be paid back through slot sales

“The EUR150 million bridging loan provided to airberlin would be ‘paid back’ through airport slots being marketed and sold.” Ms Zypries expects the loan to ensure operations for a three month period, however did not rule out more financing for the carrier in the months ahead.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew on the oneworld alliance

“I think we did very little with oneworld”, adding: “There were some mistakes made in the past, we’ve had to make a few apologies, eat a bit of humble pie and admit we were the weakest link in the chain. But I think there’s a great opportunity for Malaysia Airlines within the oneworld alliance and there’s plenty of business to be done there”.

Comair (South Africa) CEO Erik Venter

“The main challenge for commercial airlines in Africa is competing against unprofitable state-owned carriers that are sustained through government bailouts. This skews the playing field, limits competition and ultimately is not in the best interests of commercial aviation in Africa or the flying public”.

Gol Linhas Aereas CEO Paulo Kakinoff, on the value of corporate travel to the carrier

“Corporate clients make up to 70% of Gol’s revenue, depending on the route, which impacts PRASK as the segment is price inelastic. We are looking to improve the mix between corporate and leisure even further”. Mr Kakinoff added that corporate travel demand is recovering at a slower pace than leisure, “but the trend is positive”.

UK’s Airport Operators Association CEO Karen Dee on Ryanair’s call for a two drink per passenger limit at UK airport bars and restaurants.

“The sale of alcohol per se is not a problem. It’s the misuse of it and drinking to excess and then behaving badly”.

Crucial Perspective CEO Corrine Png on the China market

“Chinese travellers in second tier cities are more likely to see a Chinese carrier as a more natural choice than a foreign airline, given their familiarity with domestic airline brands and greater comfort with Mandarin speaking cabin crew and ground staff. European and foreign carriers are also likely to have a difficult time in operating to secondary Chinese cities due to seasonality, lower airfares than major hubs and lingering Chinese security concerns about Europe.”