BOSTON (CBS) – The big news at today’s Airline CEO Panel at The Global Business Travel Association was supplied by little Norwegian Air Shuttle.
If all goes according to schedule, Norwegian will be able to offer round-trip flights from Oslo to New York next year for around $300, according to CEO Bjorn Kjos.
Kjos appeared on the GBTA panel that included Dave Barger, CEO of jetBlue Airways and Keith Williams, Chief Executive Officer of British Airways.
The panel was chaired by Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor of CBS News.
The success of the Norwegian Air Shuttle flights is based on taking delivery of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and few delays at the New York airports.
Kjos presented the idea that airlines might pay airports a fee for the minutes that they are at the gate.
Keith Williams predicted that the Olympic Games would prove to be a success in bringing tourists to the UK for the next several years. The airline faces its busiest day ever at Heathrow Airport on August 13 when The Olympic Games end and everybody tries to leave at the same time.
“WiFi will come into the picture on international flights and the cost will come down, but a lot of people want peace and quiet,” said Williams.
“The business flyer is very important to our changes,” said jetBlue CEO Dave Barger. He also said that the carrier’s partnership with 20 international airlines is paying off.
25 percent of jetBlue investors are in the Boston market, jetBlue is now the largest airline serving Logan Airport.
Barger drew sustained applause when he said the U.S. government should invest in a new air controller system.
The British Airways CEO said that mergers are about long-term relationships with airlines realizing savings over a five year period.
Monday’s Keynote Presentation was made by comedian Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live” fame. He was honored to appear to be followed by ex-presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.
“George Bush is appearing because he thinks GBTA stands for George Bush is Totally Awesome. Bill Clinton is appearing because there will be more than one person in the audience,” said Meyers that drew another round of laughs during his 45 minute solo performance.
Bob Weiss travel reports can be heard on WBZ News radio