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Airline ‘super-profits’ likely in the next decade: Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew

As Elon Musk fires up a battery arsenal in South Australia to back up that state's renewable energy supplies, Malaysia Airlines CEO, Peter Bellew, predicts airlines could be earning ‘super-profits’ next decade as the oil price stabilises amid surging growth in renewable energy sources and as battery technology improves.

Mr Bellew, responsible for the turnaround of Malaysia Airlines, will be a keynote speaker at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit on 1/2 August in Sydney.

Other keynote speakers include Air New Zealand CEO, Christopher Luxon, Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans, Jetstar CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather, Virgin Australia acting group executive for airlines and CEO Tigerair Rob Sharp, Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley, AirAsia X CEO, Benyamin Ismail, Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen, Managing Director Tourism Australia  John O'Sullivan, CEO Sri Lankan Airlines Suren Ratwatte, CEO Nok Air Patee Sarasin, Chairman & CEO AccorHotels Asia Pacific Michael Issenberg, CEO Dallas Fort Worth Airport Sean Donohue, CEO Mantra Group Bob East - and many more.

Renewable energies likely to transform aviation; "close to an inflection point"

Malaysia Airlines CEO, Peter Bellew, predicts airlines could be earning ‘super-profits’ next decade as the oil price stabilises amid surging growth in renewable energy sources in the global economy.

“I’ve been following renewable energies for more than 20 years.  I think we’re very close to an inflection point on renewables and battery technology.  I think around 2020, we’ll see a levelling off in global demand for oil, and I think that’ll reach the public consciousness by late-2021. Then we could see a levelling off in the price of oil for at least 10 years at around USD30-35 a barrel. And that then could lead to super profits for airlines and also for the manufacturers and all the associates.  But we will have the lack of infrastructure to cope with it and people need to start working on that now”, Mr Bellew said.

Mr Bellew was speaking to CAPA TV ahead of his Keynote Address on the future of the airline business at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit in Sydney on 1-2 August.

Peter Bellew, CEO Malaysia Airlines talks to CAPA about the impact of reduced fuel costs

The Malaysia Airlines CEO said that, under this scenario, “suddenly, many aircraft that didn’t look as sensible because of the cost of the oil, could [become] very practical to use again”.  

There will be a ‘Steam-roller effect’ - like the conversion from coal to oil

Mr Bellew also sees a shift in the global economic power base as a result of the evolution in energy.

Renewables will be just consistent. It will be non-stop. It will be a steam roller effect. A little bit like the change that happened when people switch from coal to oil, you know back 80-90 years ago, and then we’ll just see that levelling off. It’ll also change significantly the power that the oil states have at the moment and maybe even the economies of those states. And I’m only talking about three to four years from now.  

Mr Bellew will be a Keynote Speaker at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit on 1-2 August. “I’m looking forward to the CAPA event in August. Sydney is a wonderful city and tremendous venue, so I think people have a great opportunity to see what’s going in this very vibrant economy and meet up with a stellar cast of people that seems to be attending”.

For more information about the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, click here.