Airline chiefs warn: “Be adaptable”

Press Release

(KUALA LUMPUR, 06 December 2005) The Centre for Asia Pacific’s Outlook 2006 Summit has closed with a message to delegates and the wider industry to “be adaptable” to threats and opportunities presented by the unpredictable market. “The capable executive will be the one who is prepared for any eventuality”, summed up speakers in a closing panel.

SriLankan Airlines CEO, Peter Hill, stated, “I used to make a five-year plan for our companies - now I make a one-year plan and revise it after three months.” The carrier has in less than five years faced first a guerrilla attack on Colombo Airport that decimated its fleet of widebody aircraft and then a Tsunami that destroyed large swathes of the country’s coastline. He advised the aviation stakeholders in attendance that the most important attribute they can have is adaptability. Being adaptable relates not only to reacting to disaster, he said, but also opportunity.

“Three years ago, we took advantage of the soft market by picking up new aircraft at rock-bottom prices. Now, we cannot afford the prices being commanded for new aircraft, so we have expanded by putting our code on Emirates flights”, Mr Hill recounted

Also participating in the final panel was former Ryanair chairman, Patrick Murphy who concurred. “Change is constant and the ability to react to it quickly is a virtue. The fast reaction times of the low cost carriers have taught the whole industry this lesson.”

Outlook 2006 is the Centre’s annual review of prospects for the Asia Pacific and Middle East airline industry. This year, the event is focusing on the issues of revenue maximisation and cost reduction, with a special section examining the role of government. Convening in the Malaysian capital, Outlook 2006 has brought together leaders from the extended region’s key stakeholders, representing every segment of the aviation arena, including airports, regulatory bodies and airlines, with both full service and low cost carriers participating.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, is the region’s leading independent air transport advisory group. With offices in New Delhi, Singapore, Geneva, Vancouver and the UK, the Centre remains at the forefront of the Asia Pacific and Middle East low cost movement, having advised numerous carriers on how to launch independent or affiliated budget airlines, as well as advising major airlines on restructuring exercises.

The Centre is also the region’s pre-eminent publisher of aviation-related information and data, with regular newsletters and reports, including such acclaimed publications as the monthly strategy report Aviation Analyst-Asia Pacific, and Peanuts!, its weekly look at the global low cost sector. The daily publication, Asia Pacific Airline Daily, summarises and analyses the sector’s vital issues.