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Airline Leaders Debate Ownership and Control Rules at CAPA

Airline Leaders Debate Ownership and Control Rules at CAPA

Almost 70% of the airline leaders attending the two-day CAPA Airline Leader Summit, currently taking place at the Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa in Co Wicklow believe that the ownership and control rules currently imposed on airlines will be slowly but surely ‘decommissioned’ over the next eight to ten years, reports ITTN’s Neil Steedman.

Among those attending the event are members of the Travelport team including, above, Derek Sharpe, Senior Vice President and Managing Director; Paul Broughton, Managing Director UK & Ireland; Simon Ferguson, Vice President & Managing Director, Northern Europe; and Ian Heywood, Global Head of Product and Marketing.

Welcoming the delegates, Kevin Toland, Chief Executive, Dublin Airport Authority, said that passenger numbers at Dublin Airport had grown over the five years to 2016 up to 28 million, including 1.2 million transfer passengers, while Cork Airport passenger numbers had grown by 8.8% to 2.2 million last year.

Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman, CAPA – Centre for Aviation, made an informative introductory presentation to the event’s ‘Great Debate’, that is considering the propositions that (a) ownership and control rules will be discarded, with thorough disruption of the aviation system, (b) how will third parties disrupt selling travel and the future role of ‘Big Data’ in the airline system, (c) what do Brexit, Trump and rising nationalism mean for aviation?, and (d) how to airlines prepare for the new environment?

“Three phases of disruption in the airline industry have been the introduction of 6th Freedom rights, the growth of the Gulf carriers, and the impact of the low-cost carriers. The fourth and next phase will be driven by the rise of China and Chinese airlines, partnerships within the airline industry, and ‘Big Data’ analytics.”

Putting the size of the world’s largest airlines in perspective, Peter listed the current market capitalisations of other companies as Amazon US$454bn (and fast growing), Facebook $433bn, Google $648bn, Priceline (owner of Booking.com) $90bn, Uber $70bn (estimated), and Airbnb $35bn (estimated). These compare with airline figures of Delta Air Lines $37bn, United $24bn, IAG $13bn, Qantas $9bn, Luftansa $8bn, and Ryanair 16GBP.

“Amazon has thousands of engineers working on cloud technology and analytics,” he said, “whereas the most active airlines probably have dozens.

Paul Broughton, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Travelport, with Julian Eccles, the company’s new Vice President for Public Relations and Corporate Communications

Paul Broughton, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Travelport, with Julian Eccles, the company’s new Vice President for Public Relations and Corporate Communications

A report on the CAPA debate will be published next week.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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