Need Help?

While panelists on the “Lessons Learned from 2022’s operational challenges” did not achieve consensus on the learnings from last year’s operational meltdowns, they did generally agree that the industry needs to do a better job of cooperating in future. “It is an ecosystem. It’s not an airline industry. It’s an aviation industry,” said Christina Cassotis, CEO of Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Looking back to the beginning of the pandemic and border closures, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said he found it “amazing” that so many shareholders and CEOs “panicked so much and let so many highly trained people go, not anticipating the fact that it was going to be very difficult to get them back” when the recovery began.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer of Virgin Atlantic Airways pushed back on this view however, pointing out that “none of us knew how long the crisis would last” and the UK government did not support its airlines during the pandemic. “We had to reduce staff by 45% … in order for us to survive.”

Defending the performance of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) last year, Austro Control Managing Director Valerie Hacki noted airspace closures related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine meant that “we had to operate with 2019 traffic levels with 20% less airspace capacity.”

All participants agreed on the need for all parts of the value chain to work more closely, while Griffiths also took a swing at the lack of coordination among governments’ regarding border measures that he said, “wiped billions [of dollars] off the value of our industry.”  

> Back to Highlights

Need Help?