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The transcript for ICAEW Insights podcast episode 32: 'How to fix the airline industry'.

Philippa Lamb: Hello and welcome to the ICAEW Insights podcast with news and analysis for the world of accountancy, business and finance. I’m Philippa Lamb and in this episode we’re looking at the future of the aviation sector and the business reasons behind this summer’s flight woes with Matthew Davey, Director of PwC Strategy& consulting unit, and Eleni Kaloyirou, Chief Executive of Cyprus-based Hermes Airports, and an ICAEW member. 

Later we’ll be asking ICAEW climate change executive Sarah Reay for her take on aviation, too. Is the sector fundamentally incompatible with green business? And if not, what can be done to reduce negative impact on the planet? Back in April, a House of Commons report described aviation as crucial to the UK economy. Before the pandemic it contributed £22bn a year to GDP and supported around half a million jobs. But fast forward a few months and now the news is dominated with reports of cancelled flights, lost luggage and very unhappy customers. 

So what are the drivers behind those headlines? And how can the notoriously low-margin world of aviation navigate a path to profitability as it adjusts to the post-pandemic business environment? Matt and Eleni, thanks so much for joining us today.

Eleni Kaloyirou: Thanks for having us. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Matthew Davey: Thanks very much. Looking forward to it.

PL: Eleni, we’ve all seen what’s been going wrong with airports and flights this summer. I think most of us don’t really understand exactly how the airlines and airports work together to create flight schedules. Now the slots, as I understand it, are allocated twice a year. It’s based on airport capacity and required flights. Is that right?

EK: Sure. What happens twice a year is that an airport will submit its capacity. And an airline will submit its proposed flight schedules to an independent slot coordinator. In Cyprus, this happens to be the DCA. In the UK it’s a company called Airport Coordination Limited. The importance is that they’re independent. And something else that is important to note is that slot allocation is done only for coordinating their approach. So essentially airports have an issue with slots. They don’t have unlimited slots. But as it happens, most London-based major UK airports are slot-constrained. So this process is followed. And then finally, once the slots are agreed and allocated, the airline will publish its schedule and start selling seats based on it, and also make its production plan. So how much crew and everything else that goes around the planning of an airline is needed. And, at the same time, the airport will take the flight schedules and plan its own staff and capacity requirements around what has been planned.

PL: Yeah, the airports I mean, it’s immoveable infrastructure, isn’t it, presumably, it just cannot be expanded or contracted to match demand. At short notice…

EK: Really not but an airport is an area that people flow through. So it’s all about the importance of ensuring that there is a smooth flow of passengers through the terminal. And that is achieved by increasing or decreasing the number of people that are employed in key areas like, for example, check in, or security or immigration, etc, etc.

PL: Yeah, which brings me, it leads to my next point, Matthew. And as we know, staffing challenges have played a very big part in scuppering plans to get us flying again. What is behind those staff shortages? And how big and widespread are they?

MD: I think it’s got many different reasons. I mean, I think there’s a hangover from COVID. There’s a rebound in demand for flying. And then there’s the sort of nature of the labour markets in many developed countries, which are very full. Couple that with security screening for those that are in certain parts of the airport, and a change in the sort of normal for the key parts of the aviation world, which is airlines and airports, means that together you’ve just got this crunch point that is going to persist over the summer and then will hopefully sort itself out.

PL: I mean, the pandemic obviously, most airlines, I think I’m right in saying, laid people off, didn’t they? Not all, presumably the ones who furloughed them or put them on reduced pay are struggling less, is that right?

MD: I think that’s a fair high-level description. There are certainly some airlines that didn’t  reduce their workforces during the pandemic, that have seemed to recover and been able to handle greater capacity. That’s partly due to their position in the consumer market. Generally, the lower-cost airlines can take passengers quickest on the recovery. And then they also operate from smaller airports, not the giant hub airports that, you know, we’re all aware of. And that allows them to be more flexible.

PL: Obviously, there are also staff strikes this summer, aren’t there? In a variety of areas?

MD: Yes, very much so. It’s an interesting and challenging environment, both for leaders as well as employees. You’ve got high inflation across many parts of the developed world, you’ve also got very high operating costs for the airlines at the moment, with the high fuel prices for kerosene. So there’s a higher cost base, there’s also quite a lot of debt and financing that was taken on to survive the pandemic that needs to be paid back. And that’s all translating into higher fares for the average customer.

PL: I mean, obviously, once airlines have laid staff off, recruiting and training replacements, that’s not a quick process, is it? Can you just give us a bit of detail on what the particular difficulties of this sector are in that regard?

MD: It’s not as if they get laid off, and then they sit around waiting to go back to the airlines and the wider aviation employee pool, right? They get new jobs. And so you’ve got to attract new staff into the system. And that’s just different depending on the different labour markets. It’s also quite a local business. And some of the things are highly specialised, all the way up to pilots that need years of experience on the big airframes. So it’s quite a specialised sector.

PL: And security presumably plays a big role in all this. 

MD: Absolutely. 

PL: You can’t just put anyone in an airport, can you? 

MD: I think there has been some commentary about whether the sort of background checking, obviously the background checkers are people as well, and there may be staffing shortages there, which may be taking longer, but we really wouldn’t want someone to be on the wrong side of an airport that hasn’t been vetted in the way that’s generally done.

PL: What do you think is going to ease the staffing situation? In the UK, specifically, there has been talk about easing the visa requirements or bringing in staff from other countries. Is that a key issue?

MD: I think that’s one way to do that. I think there’s also acknowledging the problem and therefore finding a solution. Conversations are good, as well as new settlements. I think you will also see a system shake out, that gets essentially better because the airlines as well as everybody else in the ecosystem wants as many people to fly as possible. And then, you know, referring to your introduction, it’s really good for a lot of the big European economies, as well as others, to have a vibrant airline ecosystem. There’s high-spec jobs, even in aviation manufacturing, but, you know, the governments and the regulators also have an incentive to get people flying. And they’ll do a lot to sort it out. So you get this crunch point, but it will be resolved.

PL: Eleni, what’s happening in Cyprus? Do you have the same staffing challenges at your locations there?

EK: I’m happy to report that although we do have certain staffing challenges, they’re not as bad as in other countries, notably the UK or even Germany. I think the reason is that we didn’t lay anybody off. During the pandemic, we used the government schemes that were on offer to subsidise the salaries of staff. So provided we could top up the salary of the staff from what the government was offering, we could retain all of our staff. So I think we started from a higher base. Despite that, it’s fair to say that a lot of people have left of their own accord, because they realise that the aviation sector was hit very hard, and they could probably make an easier living somewhere else. 

Additionally, it’s not an easy job. I mean, it’s a job that requires you to work on shift seven days a week, 365 days a year. So if you can get a job that enables you to work from home and make the same money, maybe you would prefer that, so a lot of people left on account of that. However, we have been gradually able to recruit people to fill those vacancies. And when I say we, I’m not talking about just the airport itself. I’m talking about all the stakeholders, which include the ground handling companies, police and immigration, security control, and everybody else, retail shops in the FMB outlets that make up the airport community.

PL: I mean, would it be fair to say that everyone was taken by surprise about how fast demand came back from passengers?

EK: Yes, I think that actually it’s a good question, because a lot of people are saying, well, you knew that demand was going to come back very strong. Why didn’t you plan ahead? The reality is that different countries relaxed their COVID restrictions at different times. And most did that with no warning at all. So, for example, we didn’t know that the summer was going to be good, that there was going to be high demand of people to travel. But for example, in Cyprus, there was talk about relaxing COVID restrictions, which is the prerequisite to get people back to travelling again. But this happened, let’s say in March, and they gave like a two-week forward planning horizon as to when the relaxations were going to happen.

PL: And, as Matt touched on, we’ve seen industrial action in a variety of locations with more to come. How has sickness, COVID, still played into this situation, the staffing situation this year, because obviously, it’s not over. Have you seen a lot of people off with COVID? And is that still contributing to your difficulties, such as they are?

EK: That’s an additional problem that mostly airlines, but also airports, have experienced this summer. So because COVID is still prevalent, you can have cabin crew or pilots calling in sick on the day. Obviously, they don’t know themselves that they’re going to be sick with COVID. So if they call in sick on the morning of the flight, okay, usually airlines have a back-up crew, but they don’t have 10 back-up crews for each flight. So if they have insufficient back-up crew to do the flight, the whole flight may be cancelled, or the series of flights may be affected. It’s the same for airports as well. But usually what it means for airports is that you get a lower quality of service. I mean, the flight can still happen with a lower quality of service or more queueing. For example, a longer time to get through the airport is not as critical as an airline not being able at all to operate the flight. But we have seen a lot of that this summer. And this is particularly disturbing, because you may be at the airport already when it gets announced that your flight has been delayed. And there’s nothing anybody can do at that stage.

PL: And at the other end, I was reading this morning that Qantas are asking executives to work as baggage handlers for three months. I mean, did you hear that? I was really surprised to hear that.

EK: The same has happened at Dublin Airport, for example. They were unable to have enough security staff on duty, so all the management was asked to work as security agents during weekends mostly to be able to fill up the necessary positions. So yes, airlines and airports are going to all sorts of lengths to be able to accommodate the demand. Because obviously, after such a long period of time, we want passengers to have a good experience. And to the extent possible, we want to use all available resources to accommodate them.

PL: Absolutely. The difficulty is that, you know, a delay, a single delay or a cancellation, it has a cumulative effect, doesn’t it, based on what you’ve been just telling us, and that delay must have a ripple effect.

EK: Yes, this is very true. Because if you imagine a flight that was supposed to leave at 7am, from London, let’s say, to come to Cyprus, if that flight is delayed by half an hour, then by the time it comes to Cyprus, it will be delayed going back. It may also if the airport the plane is flying to is congested, it may lose its slot, which we said at the beginning has been allocated for the six-monthly period, in which case, this will cause a further delay. And then by the end of the day, I mean, the same aircraft is doing three or four flights a day, this may put crew out of hours. And finally, the aircraft will not be able may be to do the final flight of the day. And so this creates a cumulative effect and more delays and more people losing their flights and being unable to get back on to the system because there isn’t the capacity to do that. It’s also true for the baggage. If for whatever reason you cannot be, I mean, your baggage doesn’t get loaded on to the flight on which you are flying, then it may be difficult to send the baggage on because the next flight is also full so cannot take more baggage. So yes, delays and cancellations have a cumulative effect resulting in final complete cancellations of flights for the day or for a certain period of time.

PL: And it is a multiplicity of problems, isn’t it? It’s hard to imagine a sector less suited to the pandemic and lockdown life than passenger aviation. Matt, I mean, thinking beyond the immediate challenges, what are the long-term business pressures facing airlines now?

MD: I think as a business they are historically relatively low-return businesses, which is quite remarkable considering they fly £100m machines around. I think you’re going to see higher prices, inevitably smaller networks, the planes will fly less often, you know, you’ll have two options a day rather than three or four. I think what we’ll also see is both a sustainability angle, but then also a business travel cost question that continues. Obviously, if that reduces, and there’s been some quite dramatic statements by some of the big corporate flyers, for example, then that reduces the subsidy, from the front of the plane to the back of the plane, essentially, meaning that you get fewer flights, or they have to charge higher prices. So the new normal is of higher prices, lower volume, and a shift towards shorter flights. That’s not to say that the sector is challenged. In fact, many operators or participants in the sector will do really, really well as they recover. But I think you’ll see significant uncertainty until this new balance is established.

PL: The reduction in business travel, do you think that’s a structural change? Do you think that’s not coming back at the same level?

MD: I think that it’s definitely uncertain. There’s a lot of relatively bold predictions out there, some suggesting that there will be an ongoing dramatic reduction in flying. Personally, I see commercial travel increasing quite significantly. And so perhaps it won’t be as bad as some people thought. But let’s just cross our fingers and hope, because as long as that happens, or continues to happen, then you get a healthier, larger network, which everyone can enjoy. 

PL: And in the midst of all this, obviously, the airlines are looking at fixed costs, you know, looking at higher fuel costs, the higher cost of money, a predicted recession, there’s a lot.

MD: Absolutely. So then the underlying question is what is the base demand in this system? And how will it change? And I think, in some challenges, there are some challenges, but there are also a lot of opportunities, right? So we’ve seen a remarkable, you know, return to the skies of the, you know, those that have been cooped up for two years. We’ve seen personal disposable income of a lot of developed countries actually go up, you know, savings have improved during COVID. And that should have a beneficial impact for flights. And then there’s just a desire, you know, human nature to connect, right? And some of that connection has to be international or is domestic and over the plains. And that really underpins a lot of the volume that goes through the system.

PL: Is there enough money in the ‘back-of-the-plane’ passengers, as it were? I mean, as I understand it, all the revenue really lies with business travellers. As I understand it, if you’re not travelling business, aren’t you pretty well breaking even?

MD: Yeah, I think so. I think there’s obviously a cargo aspect as well, it’s a third source of revenue, this sort of business, they’re sort of back of the plane, if you will, and then the cargo. But at the same time, we must remember that the back-of-the-plane passengers, are being charged much higher prices now, generally, than they were pre-pandemic.

PL: And you think that we’ll see more of that? 

MD: I think that that’s a new system – a) they need to improve their returns, b) they need to pay back the financing that they took out in order to survive the pandemic. And then there’s a new higher-uncertainty higher-cost base that could be about to arrive, or is in the process of being established. That means just generally, the only way the system sorts itself out is with higher prices.

PL: You think we’ll see more consolidation? 

MD: Internationally, maybe. I think in Europe, it was expected for a long time that there would only be five or six airlines. That, once it was shaken out, whether that is actually been delayed/stopped, could even go into reverse under some circumstances and scenarios. There’s obviously a couple of cases of a couple of airlines that you could say are subscale, that are challenged at the moment. And it’ll be interesting to watch over the next 12 to 18 months what happens to them.

PL: What about state intervention, for national carriers, particularly?

MD: State has quite a significant impact in this, you know. There are very few businesses in the world which, you know, wrap a flag around their primary asset. They’ve also all intervened. Government subsidy around the world to the airline sector alone has been over $250bn in the last two years. But they can also do things that are non-direct, right? So one of the big challenges that Europe has at the moment is a shortage of air traffic controllers, which is sort of slowing down the highways in the sky. And that’s constraining the ability of airlines and others to supply the volume that the market needs. I think generally, governments have got a lot of priorities - supporting a national airline can become quite important, but it also can be sort of …

PL: …well down the list.

MD: Exactly, especially in high inflation, high taxes, which we’re seeing across Europe. And there’s always an argument that can you remove the airline from the state support in order to then reduce the subsidy, but that then gets balanced by national interest, especially when you’ve got economies that are built on import/export, especially around a hub airport.

PL: Eleni, what do you make of Matt’s analysis? I mean, do you share his views on business travel? Or do you agree, I take it, that we’re going to see higher ticket prices?

EK: I agree with what Matt has said. First of all, I think that different airlines and different airports will be impacted differently. Coming out of this crisis, what we have seen so far is that the first to recover was leisure traffic, and visiting friends and relatives – VFR traffic. And as Matt has said, still some uncertainty as to whether it will fully recover or mostly recover. So I think that hub airports are probably suffering more than destination airports, especially ones located in southern Europe that are holiday destinations. Having said that, we have to remember that, for example, China has not opened yet. So anybody flying to the East has been impacted more than others. So we are seeing an uneven recovery, I guess, is what I’m saying. Definitely, we’ll see higher ticket prices going forward. Already airlines like Ryanair have gone out publicly and said that, because they say that it’s unsustainable to continue with present ticket prices. And it’s not only the need to pay off the debt that has been accumulated over two years of COVID, it’s also the need to invest in the future. Investing in the future primarily means sustainable development. That’s something we haven’t touched on yet. But what does that mean? It means that, for example, airlines need to invest in new types of aircraft that will generate lower emissions, or they have to pay more for their fuel in terms of sustainable aviation fuel in the short term. So more costs will be involved in terms of ensuring your development is sustainable. And this will be eventually borne by the passengers through the ticket prices. Same is true for airports, airports also have to invest both in digitalisation to ensure that they become more efficient, and also in sustainable development. Because this is their licence to grow. Otherwise, it will be difficult to justify their existence in the world going forward.

MD: I think this industry is actually on the forefront of sustainability through CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), which is an industry-wide reduction in emissions, through to their desire to reduce their fuel bills means that they are very focused on efficiency. They’re relatively high profile for a number of reasons. But I love the idea of zero-emission aviation, I just think it’s quite a challenge, because the engines and the propulsion systems don’t really work for the big planes. And even if they did, it would take 10 to 15 years to build a new airframe. Exciting, for me at least, is the rise of new electric aviation for smaller planes, you know, the London to Paris, if you will, will soon be on the electric plane. And that’s great.

PL: Yeah, I mean, Matt we’ve talked a bit about how the sector is going to evolve. How do you see the business model needing to evolve to stay profitable or become profitable?

MD: You can’t really change what you do, how you do it, but what you can do is try and make it more profitable. That probably means more digital, more of the journey supported by the airline and the brand that people trust. You can try and monetise more of the experience whilst personalising it, using a lot of the technologies that some of the leading hotel groups have really improved on in the last couple of years.

PL: And airlines had been typically low investors in all this, hadn’t they, compared to other sectors?

MD: Well, I think they’ve been challenged by other priorities, and then sort of struggled with the business case. And a combination of expectations set by the leading airlines coupled with advances in technology and the digital capabilities plus a changing consumer comfort means that you can do more things for them. 

PL: What sort of things are we talking about? 

MD: For example, you are far more comfortable on apps these days, especially if you’re happy with doing your banking on a phone app, then you should be much more comfortable doing things through airline booking. The fact that your screen should say your name when you sit down because it should know who you are, where you are sitting on the plane, you know, you can personalise food, for example, pre-flight, so then you just have the right stuff on board, all sorts of things to tailor and improve that experience is the mark of the improvements. I think broader picture, if you look at some of the most valuable airlines, they keep things simple. You know, they do things that – they don’t have huge amounts of differentiation in their fleet, for example, it’s quite a simple fleet. They outsource as much as they can, they stay as close to the OEM, so that’d be the big manufacturers of the airframes. And you know, they’ve got relatively simple business models, and they just do what they do very, very well.

PL: Eleni, Matt, you’ve given us a lot to think about. Thanks very much indeed for sharing all those insights and predictions with us.

EK: Thank you very much. 

MD: No problem at all.

PL: Now, as we’ve said, no discussion of aviation is complete without considering the impact on the planet. Now at first glance, air travel and sustainability seem completely at odds. But there are opportunities on the horizon. Sarah Reay is Climate Change Executive at ICAEW. She is with us to talk about what the future may hold, and to fill us in on how the Institute is helping businesses generally to become greener. Hi Sarah. 

Sarah Reay: Hi Philippa, thanks for having me. 

PL: Obviously, we’ve been discussing business innovation, but in the midst of a climate emergency and with tough net-zero goals from Westminster, sustainability is obviously a key priority. How big is the challenge?

SR: Well, it’s a massive challenge. I mean, the airline industry, they’re huge polluters. But air travel and transport has really become a global necessity, whether it’s flying on your holidays, for business, or for flying freight. So there’s a continued reliance on fossil fuels for the industry. So it’s going to be one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise. And this isn’t just going to happen overnight. As Eleni mentioned earlier, sustainable development and investment is going to be an important factor for the future of the sector. We are seeing some really interesting innovation in this area. So ICAEW holds the Finance for the Future Awards in partnership with Accounting for Sustainability and Deloitte. We’ve seen some really interesting entries over the years demonstrating what can be done when green thinking is supported and invested in. So this year, we had a really interesting entry from Edinburgh Airport. They’ve embarked on a really ambitious strategy, decarbonising not just the airport and its operations, but working with the airlines that use the airport and land there. Their strategy includes looking at where they’re sourcing their electricity, so part of that is through offshore wind farms, and using renewable hydrogen, combined with sustainably sourced carbon. So this is, I think Eleni mentioned earlier, there’s sustainable aviation fuels or SAF. So those are kind of really interesting innovations happening at the minute. SAF has been used in really small quantities since 2016. And only 14 airports currently supply SAF globally. 

PL: Okay, why is that? 

SR: It’s really difficult to make at scale. Currently, it’s used so you combine the fossil fuels with a more renewable form of energy. And there’s only so much that can be put into the mix and still be able to be used by conventional engines and the aircraft. And it’s quite costly to then invest in making this more and more sustainable. 

PL: Okay, so that’s work in progress.

SR: Yes, definitely. It’s been invested in over the past few years. But there really needs to be a big push to get this used at scale across all airlines, all aircraft, and then also more innovation in the engines so that they can support this new type of fuel.

PL: But the carbon wins are big, aren’t they? I think looking at the notes you gave me before the podcast, a 70% reduction in lifecycle carbon?

SR: So over time, this is a massive reduction. And there’s also not just from the carbon, but the pollution in the air. So there’s up to 90% reduction in particulates in comparison to the hydrocarbon fuels. So over the life of using this, this is a tremendous reduction and will really help support the decarbonisation efforts.

PL: Is this where government could, or indeed should, play more of a role?

SR: Definitely. Airlines have been operating kind of business-as-usual strategy up until the pandemic, and we haven’t really seen a lot of signs that the sustainability is really a business priority. Many other sectors need government support, to be able to spend their money and also have a good direction of where they can go in terms of sustainability. So government action can create the right incentives to make business decisions with the planet in mind. We’ve seen it with the renewable sector – it’s been able to grow quite considerably with support from government. We had the contracts for a different scheme, introduced in 2015, which has really driven the deployment of renewable energy across Great Britain. 

PL: How did that work, Sarah? 

SR: So there was a package of money set aside for businesses. They would apply for these grants, or loans essentially, from the government to be able to invest in renewable energy. And that just meant that it cut the cost and, I suppose, the risk for businesses to do that, while also benefiting kind of the government’s agenda of having a greener economy. We’re seeing that similarly with the UK’s infrastructure bank that combines public and private financing together to support the green economy. Like we've already mentioned, electric vehicles, getting those charging points up and down the country, is going to cost a lot of money. The infrastructure isn’t quite in place for that yet, so the infrastructure bank is doing that, helping support that transition. And perhaps for the airline industry, in aviation, there might be a similar sort of package put together from the government to help support their transition also.

PL: And, as you say, I mean, this is somewhere where the ICAEW is doing a lot of work. I mean, for people who don’t know how well the Institute’s doing, can you tell us a bit about it, and indeed, your own role, because you are the Institute’s climate change executive.

SR: ICAEW has a pretty wide remit. Overall, the goal of our work really is to ensure our members and the business community have access to knowledge and resources that will help them make greener choices. And that is fundamentally my role – supporting the membership, and really driving climate action across the finance profession. 

PL: And you produce a lot of content, don’t you? 

SR: There’s a lot of content, from articles to events. One of the big things I do is the organisation of the annual ICAEW Climate Summit, which happens in the autumn. So that is one of the biggest events, bringing together all issues relating to climate change for our membership.

PL: Now, I know you're particularly focused on helping SMEs get started on their green journey.

SR: The large businesses are much better equipped, they may even have dedicated sustainability teams, but SME’s make up the majority of the economy and they need the biggest amount of support on their climate journeys. So we really want to encourage businesses and practices to think about how their business model stands up with climate change in mind. A lot of businesses really need to start asking the tough questions about kind of climate risks, how will this affect my company going forward? Will I still be able to operate in the next five, 10 years? And so as part of this, we launched our Climate for SMEs Hub this year, to support members, really cut through all the noise. There’s so much content out there, it really is a minefield. So we developed our climate for SMEs hub, to cut through all this, give really simple, practical advice and guidance on how to start on their climate journeys. 

PL: And so on the website?

SR: Yes, it is. If you type in icaew.com/climate, you’ll get to our climate hub. And right at the top is a link to our Climate for SMEs page.

PL: And loads of straightforward, practical advice, guidance on how to get going…

SE: Really, really simple stuff, step by step. There’s things like 10 Tips to Get Started. And some of it will be just looking at where you buy your energy from, and switching it to a more renewable energy provider. There’s some more technical stuff on reporting, things like that. But yeah, we wanted to make it as simple as possible and just get people going. Because, you know, we’re not asking for perfection, but at least a start on that journey.

PL: Yeah, because I know you think accountants will have a crucial role to play in making all sorts of business greener and more climate friendly.

SR: Definitely accountants, they are incredibly influential and have the skills to help shift their businesses towards more sustainable decision making. The analytical skills and natural thinking are really vital to make businesses more green. And we’re launching this month, the ICAEW sustainability certificate, which is aimed at professional accountants around five to ten years post qualification, and aims to equip learners with practical knowledge and skills to integrate sustainability performance into risk management, financial planning, and analysis and decision making, as well as a bit on ESG reporting. And, of course, you know, accountants can’t, will not be always subject matter experts, so it’ll help those reach out to specialists that are kind of beyond their technical reach.

PL: Thanks very much, Sarah.

SR: Thank you very much, Philippa, for having me.

PL: That’s it for today. Thanks to Matthew Davey and Eleni Kaloyirou, you and Sarah Reay for being with us. And thanks for listening. The Insights podcast will be back in early September. You can catch the next In Focus podcast in just a fortnight’s time, when we’ll be discussing the role of the insolvency professional. Join us for that one. And meantime, if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please do rate, review and share it and subscribe to ICAEW Insights on your favourite podcast app.