Inside the Strategy Summit - key quotes from Chengdu

The World Routes Strategy Summit highlighted some of the most interesting aspects of aviation across the globe as more than a dozen high-profile speakers debated some of the key topics impacting the aviation business.

The World Routes Strategy Summit is highlighting some of the most interesting aspects of aviation across the globe as more than a dozen high-profile speakers debated some of the key topics impacting the aviation business.

These include sessions on 'State of the industry - security, safety & capacity challenges', 'The Asian miracle – where do we go from here?', 'Finding your perfect partner – accessing markets through partnerships', presentations on 'Market Growth – Constraints and Opportunities', 'The Economic Value of Aviation' and 'How Artificial Intelligence is changing the way the way we understand our passengers' and an interview with the new Malaysia Airlines, chief executive officer, Peter Bellew in one of his first industry event appearances since being promoted into the role.

Here’s some of the key quotes from the day's discussions...

"Maybe people saying bye-bye have no business hanging around the terminal and maybe it would bring the costs down for airports if it brought down the size of the terminal”
Peter Bellew, chief executive officer, Malaysia Airlines

“The order book says the widebody which has less capacity fits the market better than the large A380. If you were to cut it in half to make an A190, you would have the right plane for the market!”
Robert Hill, vice president, Seabury

“We still think that the current price of fuel is high, and the aviation policies in China are not open. In 5 or 10 years’ time, how many airlines will be coming? We don’t know. How long are small airlines going to survive? You need to be really competitive”
Hou Wei, vice president, Hainan Airlines

On aviation safety... "Physical security checks is part of the basic solution and structure but digital needs to lead this - coordination and sharing information who is coming to the airport in advance is key"
Andre van den Berg, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Schiphol Group

On the history of the Kangaroo route... “When the Gulf hub carriers established themselves It became hard to compete when flying a hop, skip and jump offering"
Evert Meyer, head of international network and strategy, Qantas

“More and more companies want to have airlines in China. The US and Europe have LCCs and in China we think they have great potential. We believe we will still have a great development in China"
Stephen Wang, president, Spring Airlines

“Our view of partnerships is simple and comes down to can I reach a passenger that I could not get to fly Oman Air directly myself”
Aboudy Nasser, senior vice president network and revenue management, Oman Air

On Brexit... "Airlines are concerned with the next three months, six months, the next nine months. Two years is very far away in their planning”
John Grant, director, JG Aviation Consultants

“I think we would all agree that some of the check points we go through (in airports) have not changed in 30 or 40 years when some of the techniques [of terrorist attack] have. We need to be smarter about security"
Vinoop Goel, Asia-Pacific regional director of airport, passenger, cargo & security department, IATA

“The development of the west is seen in China, the development of China is seen in the west of the county, and the development in the west of China is seen in Chengdu”
Pan Gangjun, general manager, Sichuan Province Airport Group

“Oneworld is very different to what we have with Emirates – an alliance is your clan, village, but a partnership is much more intimate. It may have been like marrying outside the clan, but it works very well for us”
Evert Meyer, head of international network and strategy, Qantas

“With World Routes 2016 and then World Routes 2018 in Guangzhou, the industry is paying more attention to the future of China in the global aviation sector”
Dong Zhiyi, vice director, CAAC

"A full alliance or airline-to-airline partnership? You shouldn’t mix the two!”
Marco van Vliet, head of network & alliances, Kenya Airways

“What I cannot figure out to this day is why airlines cannot fly from point A to point B in a straight line. This is a huge cost to every airline as there is so much inefficiency”
Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive officer, Ethiopian Airlines

"Any govt or stakeholder actions which impact free trade, free travel will hurt the aviation industry “we need to ensure that the business of freedom continues”
Vinoop Goel, Asia-Pacific regional director of airport, passenger, cargo & security department, IATA

"The amount of economic benefit of the American open skies policy to local and the national community cannot be overstated"
Susan Kurland, deputy commissioner for air service development, Chicago Department of Aviation

On background to Emirates partnership... "We spoke to Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines. It was no secret we were looking for a partner for many years, then Emirates Airlines came along. It is a partnership developed for strategic reasons"
Evert Meyer, head of international network and strategy, Qantas

“Airlines have a much shorter timespan so they have a different way of thinking. We have to make decisions for the long term and it is quite difficult as things are changing so fast”
André van den Berg, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Schiphol Group

On Brexit... “We are very confident in the UK demand, the UK is popular with Chinese tourists while Edinburgh is performing well from Japan. I don’t see a short term or even long term drop in demand”
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair

“The UK may see better trade agreements with other countries that bypass Europe. It could be tricky for Europe. Brexit has been good for us as the exchange rate is bringing a lot of traffic”
Peter Bellew, chief executive officer, Malaysia Airlines

On Brexit... “Any government or stake holder action that limits is obviously bad news for us. We all need to work together to make sure the business of freedom goes on in that way”
Vinoop Goel, Asia-Pacific regional director of airport, passenger, cargo & security department, IATA

“We would like to open a larger market to Japan, South Korea and North East Asia, not only from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou but also Chengdu”
Stephen Wang, president, Spring Airlines:

"Airports have to do a lot in making the passenger experience better without compromising the security. It is creating an atmosphere of fear. People are reducing travel and we feel that there is a slow down in demand” 
Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive officer, Ethiopian Airlines

"We have a very open attitude, and would like to have more cooperation with airports to meet the demand of the Chinese market”
Hou Wei, vice president, Hainan Airlines

“Looking at the Indian market, passenger numbers have increased by 35 percent; next year we will open more routes from China to India”
Li Dianchun, chief commercial officer, Hong Kong Airlines

"Aviation creates jobs and contributes to national GDP. In order to do that we need to all focus on capacity, security and safety"
Vinoop Goel, Asia-Pacific regional director of airport, passenger, cargo & security department, IATA

“Now we have become the largest carrier between China and Europe in terms of passenger capacity. At this time we are creating more routes to America and Europe: we have opened a four times weekly service to Warsaw, Poland. We are also opening routes to North East Asia, South East Asia and Africa”
Zhu Songyan, assistant president, Air China

On aviation safety... “We have seen some knee jerk reactions from the authorities”
Peter Bellew, chief executive officer, Malaysia Airlines

On Chinese government subsidies...  “It will be interesting to see which second tier cities will have the most profit"
Li Dianchun, chief commercial officer, Hong Kong Airlines

“In the future, with the rises in capacity, more airlines will be competing with one another and the market will be more intense”
Zhu Songyan, assistant president, Air China

“Aviation in China now is similar to America in the 1980s and Europe in the 1990s. With rapid growth, there will be some setback”
Stephen Wang, president, Spring Airlines

“We have a fleet of more than 110 aircraft, over 200 domestic and 40 international routes but now we are in the position for transformation”
Wei Zhang, commission for discipline inspection, Sichuan Airlines Group 

“Air China pays great attention to the Caribbean market, and it is important for the carrier’s strategy with north America as we have the route to Cuba”
Zhu Songyan, assistant president, Air China 

“Tourism is developing so rapidly which shows the potential of the Asia pacific market. When you come to Chengdu, you don’t want to leave. We are confident of the Chinese market.” 
Wei Zhang, commission for discipline inspection, Sichuan Airlines Group  

"New routes can be developed with more efficient aircraft in a far more effective way”
Edmond Rose, vice president , ICF International

“China is a problem that we’re not recognising in terms of how to compete against the Chinese carriers and how to develop the market”
John Grant, director, JG Aviation Consultants

On foreign competition… “There were decades of European and US markets taking advantage of the Indian market because they didn’t have a strong carrier”
Howard Mann, Vice President , Campbell Hill Aviation Group

On Subsidies and Protectionism... "If you look at it [the aviation community] as a family is China and the children are now growing up. You can't suddenly take away the toys from those children and say it is no longer fair. Just accept those children have got bigger with better toys and are going to use them more effectively than the other players."
John Grant, director, JG Aviation Consultants

"We haven't seen a genuinely global airline so it is quite hard to know what it will really look like, but we have seen airlines that are very big indeed and they do manage to operate efficiently."
Edmond Rose, vice president, ICF International 

"I do think if there is an area [of aircraft manufacture] that is going to be underserved then it is going to be the mid-range sector."
Robert Hill, vice president, Seabury

"The use of artificial intelligence in business is probably one of the most important things we need to get our head around. The companies that are making a difference are the ones that are disrupting the way we work.”
Steve King, chief executive officer, Black Swan

“The meetings here at World Routes will provide strong support and guidance to next round of world route development” 
Pan Gangjun, general manager, Sichuan Province Airport Group

“World Routes is an important gathering of aviation community and landmark for the Sichuan province”
Yang Hongbo, vice governor, Sichuan Province

“World Routes will provide a superb chance for world’s civil aviation sector to know China and Sichuan province”
Dong Zhiyi, vice director, CAAC

"The new Tianfu Airport in Changdu will be the largest infrastructure project in the Sichuan province and will deliver a 90 million passenger facility by 2045 with six runways"
Pan Gangjun, general manager, Sichuan Province Airport Group

"[CAAC is looking to] improve the blending of civil and military air space in China to ensure better convenience"
Dong Zhiyi, vice director, CAAC

"Our ambitions will see Chengdu soon become only the third Chinese city behind Beijing and Shanghai to have a two airport model"
Yang Hongbo, vice governor, Sichuan Province

“We will improve air transportation policy and expand our routes into Europe and North America”
Dong Zhiyi, vice director, CAAC

(additional reporting by Laura Hamill and Edward Robertson)

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