[Podcast] Analyse Asia 192: Asian Airlines in crisis & the rise of Chinese aviation with Paul Papadimitriou

Editor’s note: This originally appeared on Analyse Asia, a weekly podcast hosted by Bernard Leong, dedicated to dissecting the pulse of business, technology, and media in Asia. The podcast features guests from Asia’s vibrant tech community.

Paul Papadimitriou, the host of the Layovers podcast & founder of Intelligencr, joined us in a conversation to discuss the crisis of Asian airlines and the rise of China aviation. We discussed why the top Asian airlines such as Cathay Pacific & Singapore Airlines are facing challenges with their models disrupted by new upstart airlines, and the major business opportunities arising from China in the aviation space. Last but not least, Paul also shares the upcoming innovations in the aviation space.

Listen to the episode here or subscribe.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Paul Papadimitriou (@papadimitriou , LinkedIn), founder of Intelligencr and host of the Layovers podcast with Alex Hunter [0:38]
    • Since our last conversation, what have you been up to? [1:18]
    • Can you talk about the recent hackathon happening in the aviation industry? [2:03]
  • Asia Airlines in Crisis: Cathay and Singapore Airlines [3:23]
    • Before we start, can you provide an overview of Cathay Pacific and Singapore airlines and their core competency in the aviation space? [3:41]
    • Quick facts: Cathay Pacific listed on HK stock exchange – CEO: Rupert Hogg with market cap 48.78B HK ~ 6.25B, and Singapore Airlines listed on SGX – CEO Goh Choon Phong with market cap 11.99B SGD ~ 8.7B
    • Recently, both Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines have not done well, for example, Cathay Pacific has announced job cuts, and Singapore Airlines have swung to a S$138M loss and will undergo a transformation, what are the changes in the aviation environment that led to their recent problems? [6:35]
    • Both airlines also faced intense competition such as Emirates Airlines and AirAsia from both high and low end, can you describe what Emirates and AirAsia have done that led to this current state? (Ref: AirAsia’s perspective on ultra-long haul flights) [11:36]
    • In your opinion, what are the potential solutions for both carriers to turn around? [19:10]
    • Why are customers more sensitive to price and not on the user experience, for example, better seats? [23:14]
    • The market in China is about to be opened up with Airbus and Boeing gearing up to produce more planes there and setting up of more domestic flights, how do you see the Chinese aviation market look like in the next year? [28:29]
    • Will the Chinese airlines eventually be crushing all the other Asian airlines within the region? [32:34]
    • Can they rely on technology and innovation? What are the interesting solutions that might change the game for airlines? [34:25]

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