This week saw incremental moves in the travel industry rather than radically disruptive moves, and that's OK. We asked questions of IAG's new budget carrier, dissected the new travel tech behind airline booking, and staged a virtual intervention with Virgin figurehead Richard Branson. We also looked at Airbnb's new Trips product from the POV of its hosts, as well as its China product from the perspective if its biggest regional rival (and current market leader).
As usual in our weekend newsletters, we suggest you pour a cup of coffee, put your legs up, and have a read. And us? We're boarding flights to London as you read this. More on that below, and on Monday and Tuesday. —Jason Clampet, Editor-in-Chief
Is Level a legitimate attempt by International Airlines Group to build a long-haul, low-cost carrier? Or is it a "fighting brand" designed to make Norwegian Air's expansion more challenging. Time will tell.
Nobody would argue that the European Union is a perfect institution but not only has it helped foster a degree of unity between former enemies but it has also ushered in an era of unparalleled freedom for its citizens. Brexit has put all that under threat.
Airlines are using new channels, such as Facebook chat and other airlines' websites, to sell their seats and other products. Some are turning to startups for help, rather than rely only on establishment vendors.
Much of the travel industry remains in denial about the risks of Brexit. As the countdown starts to the UK's divorce from the EU in April 2019, here's a recap of the best coverage on Skift.
We are fans of Virgin products and we think that the brand's founder does good work. But we'd also like to see a workplace relatively free of the type of sexist images it promotes at launch events and anywhere else the founder shows up.
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When others said low cost, long haul air travel might not work, Norwegian Air CEO Bjørn Kjos thought differently. So far he has been right — Norwegian's long-haul flights are popular with passengers — but legacy carriers are starting to fight back. It'll be interesting to watch Norwegian battle with them over the coming years.
The reigning "Airbnb of China" is going all out to increase its competitive edge in the country as its leading homesharing platform.
Overall, the reviews are positive, but some have found the app to be glitchy at times. The bigger question on our minds: Can this prove to be a moneymaker for both hosts and for Airbnb in the long term?
It's hard to consistently make money in the airline industry. But Indigo Partners, led by former America West Airlines CEO Bill Franke, has an excellent track record. Once again, he is poised to make a big profit after buying an airline cheaply and taking it public.
Ultra-low-cost flights may be seductive, but nothing in life is free, including those airfare savings.
United's Polaris rollout may not go as quickly as originally planned thanks to a shortage of airplane seats. In the meantime, business travelers wait impatiently.
Ryanair has little hope of becoming a Booking.com or Expedia but it could find new revenue streams if it convinces other airlines to enable it to sell their flights on Ryanair's sites.
Alaska's frequent flyers should love this decision. No, they won't get flatbed business class seats to New York, but they'll keep plentiful free upgrades. For most road warriors, that's a big deal.
Will Oasis and other alternative accommodations players' arguably steadier, slower, and more curated approaches to scale pay off in the long term? Or will the speed and scale of bigger players like Airbnb win out in the end?
It’s hard to imagine Ace Hotels becoming what it is today without the visionary drive of its late co-founder, Alex Calderwood.
Travel metasearch sites such as Kayak, Trivago, TripAdvisor and Skyscanner would fall on hard times if they weren't attracting advertising spend from their parents' -- or former parents' -- rivals.
The once lavishly funded tours startup Zozi says it is still healthy, though it had to lay off many employees. The restructuring will have Zozi de-emphasizing its consumer product to "double down" on its B2B reservation service unless another player swoops in for its assets.
We'll need time to see if Kayak's new drop-down boxes for comparing basic versus full-service tickets do the trick for consumers, who may still be confused, and for airlines, which may want tighter control over retailing.
It's rare for an online booking company to take a stand in the airlines' long-running squabble with legacy technology middlemen. Skyscanner has, and carriers will like it. But some critics may find its forecast overstated.
If young business travelers are making ride-sharing and home-sharing part of their routine, it's only a matter of time before the alternative options become mainstream.
Better personalizing booking and travel tools for business travelers is something of a holy grail in corporate travel. Time will tell if Carlson Wagonlit Travel's newfound focus on technology will be effective.
While international visitor spending was in the black for January in many American destinations data for the next few months will be more telling in how U.S. foreign policy is impacting travelers' decisions to spend and vacation in the U.S.
For tourism operators surrounding Victoria Falls, the fabled Zambezi river god Nyami Nyami appears to be smiling on them at last. After years in the tourism wilderness, the tide has turned and business is booming in the northern reaches of Zimbabwe.
The timing of this announcement – in the same week that the UK formally starts the Brexit process – shows that the Mayor of London is keen to show the city is still very much willing to work with Europe.
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