Dear Members, we have turned 12 pages of the 2012 calendar and have entered 2013.
Last year I wrote that the World would see three great nations having Presidential elections. Well Obama is not new although still quite young. Mr Putin is back in the seat after a period as formal number two, but in France they chose a new leader. Mr Hollande will try to steer France through these challenging times.
The “loose guns” North Korea and Iran fortunately did not make headlines, can we hope the same for 2013.
Over the year oil prices remained stabile even dropped some; currency fluctuations were moderate with the USD increasing from around 5,60 above 6 and ending the year at 5,65 and interest rates are still extremely low in this part of the World.
EU ETS (Emission Trading Scheme) was debated early in the year with several non EU parties protesting; in short EU has decided to exempt traffic in/out EU until ICAO meeting late 2013, read more here: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/aviation/index_en.htm
Well let me turn to BARD and use this opportunity to remind you of the purpose of BARD which is to keep members well informed about industry relevant matters.
For various reasons some members has left us but we have also had the pleasure of seeing others joining, a special welcome to them.
At last year’s General Meeting, we decided to formalize our cooperation with Dansk Luftfart and as they do not have other Associations as members they offered us a trial membership for both parties to gain experience. We have had many meetings and talks with MD Michael Svane DI and Mr Per Henriksen as well as several briefings by Per Henriksen. The Board recommend making the membership permanent.
On our agenda we have a point called “Report from AOC”. Again in 2012 we had the pleasure of being held a jour by Mr Per Levring, this is very interesting and highly appreciated, thank you very much.
We usually arrange four meetings in a year, but as we had a last minute change for our May meeting, we in respect of the member’s time, decided to cancel this.
Due to various circumstances we skipped the Summer luncheon and the September meeting was moved to be held at Dansk Industry. The meeting was a thorough update and debate on BARDs standing with regards to the revision of the Danish Insolvency Act as well as debating a case of Denied Boarding.
In the third meeting held in December we heard in more details from Per Henriksen about The Danish Act on Travel Guarantee – also be up for revision. Mainly based on our close cooperation with Dansk Luftfart (DL) the members have been kept updated over the year. In broad lines all parties agree that the current law doesn’t work to the intention, that there are many complications especially in terms of limitation and coverage. Forbrugerstyrelsen have invited all parties to make input from this written a report, now we all are waiting in suspense on the decision from the Minister. At same meeting we heard from AOC about their plans for employing a Director to act on behalf of more airlines and the Secretary shared material from IATA regarding new distribution.
We await revision of the EU Denied Boarding Act and the Act on Package Travel and we await the Transport minister’s decision on The Danish Act on Travel Guarantee. We will brief the members as soon as possible.
During 2013 the plans are to see Per Henriksen from Dansk Luftfart, if not at all then , at most meetings.
We have contacted Copenhagen Airport in order to arrange our next meeting in Kastrup and we expect it to be a nice mix of operational as well as commercial issues.
The September meeting we hope to put Legal issues, compliance and Anti Trust on the agenda. It is most likely that we will combine this meeting with a visit to another of the Arp-Hansen hotels and following the meeting invite to our annual luncheon.
As you may have read Visit Denmark has a new Chairman, Jens Vittrup Willumsen, well know from other parts of the industry. We hope to see him and perhaps the MD Jan Olsen, in November.
We have contacted IATA to encouraging them to come to Denmark to make a presentation to BARDs members with focus on New Distribution.
We will be looking for other interesting opportunities relevant for BARD members, your inputs are always welcome.
We will be back with dates and details when they are known.
In order to organise these arrangements and make them a success, we need your interest, your full back up, attendance and participation. Please prioritize BARD and the worthy speakers. If you are excused, please send your deputy.
It is an advantage to us all that we have a good turn up, it is more interesting for the speaker, questions and debates get more perspectives and it is easier to comprehend and refer instead of reading minutes. Minutes are usually only worth something for those who participated.
I like to express optimism, but I have to be realistic and 2013 will be another challenging year where demand will most likely not grow. We can, being in Denmark, be grateful for the strong need for travel people have and that most Danes consider it a “Human right” to travel at least once a year.
I hope that there will be little need for further cost cuttings in airline and in travel industry as such, but I am certain that strategies will need to be adjusted, show realism and reflect the World as it is.
With these words I conclude my annual statement.
Welcome to 2013, Happy New and good luck to all.