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 India is a key market for the carrier:

“The State of Qatar and India share a substantive and strong relationship that has evolved over the years, making India an important market for Qatar Airways. This is reflected by the 102 weekly flights we provide to 13 destinations across India. India is on track to become the third largest global aviation market by 2025 and we are determined to further grow our presence in the Indian market by offering passengers the award-winning quality of service that they deserve. We recently launched our unique Qsuite business class product on the Mumbai and Bengaluru routes, to provide passengers with the best experience in the skies”.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes on global economic conditions:

“Definitely there’s going to be some slow down in my opinion. It’s inevitable, with trade sanctions and some of the things that are happening in the currency world in the emerging markets, yet you’re seeing oil at a record high. So it’s counter cyclical and I think things will balance out in the end”. He further noted: “The volatility in oil is amazing”, adding: “We’ll just continue to hedge our booking curve then the rest we’ll play with our fares, etc, to try and make the difference up”, and added: “We are definitely facing some headwinds with currency and oil”.

Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Izham Ismail on the group’s “steady” performance in 2Q2018:

“Malaysia Airlines has been undertaking its biggest ever transformation over the past three years, cutting comparable unit costs by 5% since then. The airline had seen good traction for the last three quarters after a weak 2017 with yield and RASK showing positive improvements. However, we are also facing pressure from escalating fuel prices, forex volatility and overcapacity in the domestic market. Overcapacity has also led to a worldwide pilot shortage, further exacerbating the situation and hampering our growth”.

Kenya Airways Group MD and CEO Sebastian Mikosz on the airline’s plans to enter a partnership agreement with the Kenya Airports Authority for the operation of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA):

“We got the cabinet approval two weeks ago. Investments in JKIA are critical for Kenya Airways. We want to follow all the procedures a public private partnership entails, and we are working on modalities of it now”.

Vistara CEO Leslie Thng on the carrier planning to go international by the end of 2018:

“There are enough places we can fly to where bilateral rights are available. Even within the A320 family, with the A320neos and A321, it would allow us to fly up to six hours. The widebody Boeing 787 will allow us to fly nonstop up to 12-13 hours, virtually allowing us access to all places we want to fly”.

Aegean Airlines CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis on the airline’s 1H2018 results:

“Following a very successful 2017 we managed to further improve our load factors and passenger volumes through our service efforts, conservative focused capacity expansion for a second consecutive year and the optimisation of our network despite substantial competitive capacity increases. Tourism demand for Greece continues to develop and is supportive but substantially seasonal”.

AirAsia X Group CEO Kamarudin Meranun and co-group CEO Tony Fernandes stated on the group’s operating loss of MYR95.9 million (USD23.3 million) in 2Q2018:

“Although passenger and cargo revenue rose, the operating performance was adversely affected by increased fuel costs… During the quarter, we advanced the company’s long term strategy of market dominance further and ramped up additional capacity to our core markets”.

Air Seychelles CEO Remco Althuis confirmed the airline suspended long haul operations and commented on the launch of Paris-Seychelles service by Air France in May-2018:

“The announcement that they wanted to get back on to the Seychelles pushed us over the edge. It’s not a direct cause and effect but it clearly didn’t help. The big paradox is that, given the seasonality of our business, we can’t operate long haul profitably. But, clearly, with more competition coming into the island, it’s a larger market to feed our domestic flights”.