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CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit

Sydney, Australia
7-8 Aug 2019

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce discusses some of the airline’s focus areas as it looks to increase its market opportunities in an environment of relatively flat capacity expansion. The carrier is examining new ways to drive additional ancillary revenue, and is planning to grow its North American network through its partnership with American Airlines. Further aircraft orders are also on the horizon.

Qantas, Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce

CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison

Qantas, Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce

Despite years of discussion around IATA’s NDC programme, few outside of Europe have had the opportunity to experience the new capabilities and see an example of what it’ll look like for agents around the world. NDC was launched “to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travellers”, but with the upgrade still in its infancy, clear and concise demonstrations have been few and far between.

In this demonstration we will show how TMC consultants can compare products simultaneously, from a variety of different sources including NDC, Low Cost Carriers and GDS fares, all in the one environment.

Brought to you by the technology leaders at ATPI, the demonstration is designed to be completely neutral and to highlight the true value that the TMC brings to the distribution conundrum.

ATPI, International Board Director, Peter Muller

A surge in inbound tourism to the region from China has rapidly inflated growth, notably in Australia, where a dozen Chinese airlines operate at various levels of activity. Chinese tourists to Australia now exceed New Zealanders, the longstanding #1. As by far the largest spenders when on their holidays, this has offered a bonanza to the economy and the national tourism industry. 
But it is unlikely that the growth rates experienced in recent years will be maintained. Already there are signs of a slowdown. Much of the growth has been led by supply at very low fares and as some of the enthusiasm by provincial governments to provide subsidies wanes, a period of stabilisation is likely.

  • What are the main source markets for Australian inbound tourism?
  • What are the key source markets for international growth?
  • Is the region well positioned to attract key inbound markets?
  • How can the whole of Australasia target further growth?

Session Provocateur: Tourism Australia, International Operations & Aviation Development Manager, Trent Banfield

  • South Australian Tourism Commission, Manager Aviation and Access, Mark Gill
  • Tourism Australia, International Operations & Aviation Development Manager, Trent Banfield
  • Tourism & Events Queensland, Aviation and Trade Director, Sharyn Brydon
  • Tourism Tasmania, Director Access & Aviation, Hans Van Pelt
  • Tourism Western Australia, Director Aviation Development and Policy, Claire Werkmeister

A series of record breaking profits for Australasia’s two largest airlines, Qantas and Air New Zealand, has cemented the sustainability of their models and endorsed their strategies in the marketplace. Each is greatly helped by their domination of their domestic markets, but in their different ways have adapted to highly competitive market conditions to maintain profitability there too. 

Unlike some protectionist-supported airlines, this has been achieved with the most open market policies in the world (despite a recent aberration in the Australian market). Virgin Australia is yet to revive its fortunes but remains well entrenched in the Australian market; its multiple major airline investors offer both support and hindrance.
The South Pacific airline market is poised for a major transformation as several of the region’s flag carriers pursue fleet expansion, supporting tourism aspirations but also intensifying competition to potentially unsustainable levels. 
In 2019, a key change in allegiances will influence the domestic and regional markets as Air New Zealand switches its partnership away from Virgin Australia to the much bigger Qantas, creating a formidable force in the Australasian market. In the Pacific too, Fiji Airways is performing well, though the Fijian government has to wrestle with the commercial conflict between supporting its airport and flag carrier with a restrictive access regime, while seeking to stimulate its major industry, inbound tourism. Tourism may be the loser.

Moderator: CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison

  • Association of South Pacific Airlines, Chief Executive Officer/Secretary General, George Faktaufon
  • Nauru Airlines, Chairman, Trevor Jensen
  • Regional Express, Deputy Chairman, John Sharp
  • Sydney Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Culbert

Exports generated by international tourism reached USD 1.7 trillion in 2018, a 4% increase in real terms over the previous year, a new report from the World Tourism Organization shows. For the seventh year in a row, tourism exports grew faster than merchandise exports (+3%), reflecting solid demand for international travel in a generally robust economic environment.

The same report shows outbound tourism spending from Australia increased 10% year-on-year in 2018, making it one of the fastest growing of the world’s top 10 source markets.

  • What key markets are performing well?
  • What markets are ripe for growth?
  • How are fares out of Australia performing
  • Will a lower Australian Dollar force local travellers to holiday domestically rather than internationally?

Moderator: Tourism Futures International, Managing Director, Bob Cain 

  • Australia India Travel & Tourism Council, Chairman, Sandip Hor
  • China Southern Airlines, Director of Sales and Marketing AUS & NZ, Kevin Xu 
  • Tourism New Zealand, General Manager Australia, Andrew Waddel

Qantas’ Group CEO Alan Joyce has said the Perth-London service commenced in 2018 has demonstrated there is “amazing demand” for non-stop services to Europe and perhaps forms the platform to establish the next frontier and help the carrier take the prize of operating the world’s longest commercial air services from 2022/2023.
Having challenged Airbus and Boeing to develop an aircraft capable of flying the additional distance needed to access the US east coast from Sydney and similar routes, the remaining issues are to establish a viable business case, agree terms with flight crews and to secure the necessary safety authorisations. A new generation of long haul aircraft and airlines are creating new route development opportunities.

  • What examples of implementation of new aircraft types has been successful around the world? 
  • What opportunities still exist to tap into new aircraft types? 
  • What routes will be opened up within Australasian thanks to new aircraft technology? 
  • How much reliance is there on premium traffic to make ultra long haul routes sustainable? 
  • At what point will the traveller reject ultra long haul?
  • What are ULCCs looking for in an airport?

Australia has experienced one of the highest proportions of medium/long haul international LCC operations. The LCC share of capacity from Asia and Australia more than doubled over the past ten years from just 11.9% in summer 2008/2009 to a peak of 24.3% in winter 2016. But it has subsequently shrunk as non-LCC capacity in this market grew much faster. Overall, non-stop seats into Australia from Asia this summer will increase 6.2% buoyed by a 7.8% rise in non-LCC capacity. The LCC share of capacity could consequently fall to a six-year low, based on current published schedules.

Moderator: ASM, Senior Consultant, Omar Hashmi

  • Brisbane Airport Corporation, Executive General Manager, Aviation Development & Partnerships, Jim Parashos  
  • Executive Traveller, Editor in Chief, David Flynn
  • Flair Airlines, Board Adviser, Rick Howell

Legacy distribution systems have for decades presented airlines with the twin problems of high costs and product commoditisation. In efforts to address these issues, a handful of carriers throughout the world have invested heavily into establishing their own API channels with agents, while the concurrent push by IATA for airlines to implement the NDC standard has encouraged the industry to adopt a retail focused approach to distribution.

The GDS will also need to evolve in order to remain relevant and to compete effectively against other intermediaries and aggregators such as metasearch companies (some of which now have direct booking capabilities), as well as digital behemoths such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook – to gain a slice of the pie.

But as airlines work on enhancing their retail offering and improving their merchandising capability via both direct and indirect channels, a resounding message from industry players is that airlines need to consider the importance of mobile and messaging platforms, which are slowly replacing the desktop as the preferred interface for researching and booking travel.

  • Is this increasingly fragmented and complex commercial and technological distribution landscape sustainable? How will business models evolve in response? Is there a need for a direct connect aggregator?
  • Should airlines build lots of direct connects or revert back to lean, centralised distribution channels?
  • Who is going to be offering services to bridge the gap between airlines/aggregators that are NDC compliant and those that aren’t? Will it be the GDS and IT providers, other airlines or speciality providers?
  • How are newer intermediaries adding value to airline distribution?
  • How do airlines enhance their digital shopfront? Are airlines over-emphasising the importance of airline.com over mobile messaging platforms and bot technologies?

Moderator: Travelport, Global Head of New Distribution, Ian Heywood

  • American Airlines, Vice President Asia Pacific Sales, Shane Hodges
  • Australian Federation of Travel Agents, Chief Executive, Jayson Westbury 
  • Qantas, Executive Manager Sales and Distribution, Igor Kwiatkowski

Airport regulation is important. Airports are vertically integrated businesses. Landside – do give airports give enough space on site for rideshares, car parking, are ride-shares being overcharged? Airside – aircharges are rising – is that a sign of market pricing?Fuel lines – is there competition in the supply of jetbill?

Moderator: CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison

  • ACCC, General Manager – Infrastructure Regulation Division, Matthew Schroder
  • AIPA, President, Mark Sedgwick
  • Airlines for Australia and New Zealand, Chairman, Graeme Samuel AC 
  • Frontier Economics, Economist, Anna Wilson
  • Qantas, Group Executive Government, Industry, International and Sustainability, Andrew Parker 
  • Regional Express, Deputy Chairman, John Sharp

Our panel of leading analysts will discuss:

  • Where to next for airline stocks? What’s outlook for the key drivers: economic growth, capacity and fuel?
  • Who are the ROIC stars and why? how are airlines valued relative to other industrials?
  • Which airlines are better placed to weather economic storms?
  • How can the industry learn to deal with fuel prices volatility?
  • How are airlines faring in containing non-fuel costs?

Moderator: Aviation Week, Senior Air Transport Editor, Adrian Schofield

  • Citi, Analyst – Industrials & Transport, Jakob Cakarnis 
  • Evans and Partners, Head of Research, Cameron MacDonald
  • Ord Minnett, Senior Research Analyst, John O’Shea
  • S&P Global, Lead Analyst, Director, Graeme Ferguson
  • UBS, Analyst – Transport & Infrastructure, Matt Ryan

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Deputy Secretary, Ms Pip Spence

While unmanned aircraft technology is not new, the thought of thousands of drones constantly buzzing around our skies still feels as if it belongs in a futuristic movie. However, such a sight is closer in time than may be expected, and with flying cars among the next steps forward in innovation, it could ultimately be a partial solution to the pilot crisis that is already impacting the commercial aviation sector.
Much of the progress will depend on regulatory authorities developing robust standards, enabling new applications “and the ability of the innovators to understand what technology is available to enable their vision of the future,” according to one industry leader.

Moderator: CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison

  • Airservices Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Jason Harfield
  • Clyde & Co, Senior Consultant RPAS/Aviation, Prof. Ron Bartsch

As customers, employees, suppliers and society at large begins to place increasing importance on corporate social responsibility, corporate leaders have started to implement practises which positively contribute to society.
The big challenge for executives is how to develop an approach that can truly deliver on these ambitions. Some innovative companies have managed to overcome this hurdle by partnering with other businesses with social responsibility at its core.
In this important discussion, we will hear from organisations who live and breathe social responsibility, empowering female leaders and those businesses who are drivers for change. 

Moderator: International SOS, Director, Risk, Jessica Beatson

  • Bioenergy Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Shahana McKenzie 
  • Etihad Airways, General Manager Australia and New Zealand, Sarah Built 
  • The Sustainable Traveller, Founder, Dayana Brooke 
  • World Animal Protection, Executive Director, Simone Clarke 

Technology within the aviation sector continues to evolve and develop whether it be to access new travellers, improve passenger experience, or enhance customer service. 
There are a range of tools available now which could assist in these areas from Customer Focused Platforms; Artificial Intelligence; Digital technology; and many more. 
These solutions are designed to enable an airline to increase their revenue, evolve their retailing strategies, and increase customer satisfaction.

  • What do airlines need to do to evolve into proper travel retailers?
  • What can they learn from other travel suppliers who excel in this arena?
  • What other/newer distribution technologies are required to enable further airline growth? 
  • What technology is set to shape the way the future traveller interacts with airlines and airports?
  • How will travel retail evolve after basic merchandising? 
  • What technology is driving customer behaviours?
  • What Inflight Connectivity means to airlines looking to digitalise and how it impacts travel retail and purchasing behavior if passengers are connected whilst in the air?

Moderator: Skyscanner, Vice President Commercial, Hugh Aitken

  • Inmarsat Aviation, Vice President for Asia Pacific, Chris Rogerson 
  • SITARegional Director, North Asia & Pacific, Jay Youlten
  • Western Sydney Airport, Chief Information Officer, Tom McCormack