The first day of the CAPA Summit in Singapore this week delivered a powerful punch. Discussions ranged from U.S. Politics to China policy, and the niggling questions which remain about the battle between full service carriers and LCCs.

Do these labels even make sense anymore? ANA’s Senior Executive Advisor to the Chairman, Keisuke Okada made the provocative suggestion that perhaps it’s more important for airlines to think not of themselves and their models as reference points for customer experience strategy, and instead think beyond themselves to their customers: why their customers fly with the carrier, what are their expectations for that journey relative to their travel needs, and how can the airline best retain that engagement?

Okada also likened the decision to pursue a customer-first strategy to marriage. While you might not know whether this is the right decision to make with prior-knowledge that it will be a big success you know you want to commit yourself to your spouse (and to the customer), because you have strong feelings that it will make life better. What a delightful way to look at the question!

Here is are 5 top contentious topics from the event (in brief), with more to follow. (📌 means pin this thought because there is more to come.)

1. 📌China Has Big Plans. Bigly big.

China’s infrastructural plans add new unexpected layers of complexity to airlines in the region, with implications also for plane manufacturers. Dr. Law Cheung Kwok of the Chinese University of Hong Kong suggested it will be 5 years until China begins pulling from its own aircraft production, with plans to add supporting technologies and materials to sustain mainland supply.

2. 📌Don’t get me started on flagship JVs.

3. LCC Alliances Evolve

Might this apply to everybody?

Attendee Perspectives on Asian LCCs.

4. Worried about the rise of Long-haul LCCs? Well, some aim to go further.

5. 📌Airlines’ RISK strategy endures with world domination as the final aim. Well, boys will be boys.

It’s busy, busy here in Singapore and the Capella hotel is a delightful location to be busy in! (No. They don’t pay me to say that.)

I’m looking forward to Day 2 and the return flight home.

I’ll leave you with this:

 

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