Thomas Cook UK Shops Sold to Retail Rival Owned by Husband-and-Wife Team

Thomas Cook

The Thomas Cook Stratford City store. Hays Travel has agreed to buy Thomas Cook’s UK retail estate. Thomas Cook

Skift Take: Given the state of the traditional retail industry, on the surface this appears to be a risky deal but Hays Travel is a profitable, growing business and will probably have secured the assets at a knock-down price. The company knows better than most how to make shops work.

— Patrick Whyte

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American Airlines Targets January 16 for Boeing 737 Max’s Return to Service

American Airlines

American Airlines Boeing 737 Max jets in storage. The airplanes may return to service soon. American Airlines

Skift Take: Is this finally it? Is the Boeing 737 Max returning to service? American Airlines is more confident than ever that the airplane will be ready by January 16. We will believe it when we see it.

— Brian Sumers

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Why Are Top Airline CEOs Donating Ahead of the 2020 Election to This Political Group?

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly on a Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Southwest Airlines

Skift Take: Airlines spend so much time massaging their public images every time they face a crisis. It’s important to remember that for all the woke posturing from these brands, their leaders still often back the leaders more likely to give them tax breaks than support liberal social causes.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Travel Advisors Cruise Over to Book Independent Shore Excursions

Bloomberg

Whether it’s a surf lesson or a foodie tour, shore excursions run by companies independent of cruise lines are gaining traction. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Shore excursions offered by third-party companies are growing in popularity among passengers and travel advisors alike. Independent options tend to offer more customization than ship-sponsored tours while also offering financial benefits for travel advisors.

— Maria Lenhart

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Boeing Bets on Space Tourism By Pumping $20 Million Into Virgin Galactic

Gene Blevins  / AFP via Getty Images

Boeing is preparing to make a $20 million investment in Virgin Galactic. Pictured is Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity during a test flight in 2018. Gene Blevins / AFP via Getty Images

Skift Take: Boeing has plenty of money, so it might as well invest a tiny bit of it in space travel. We’ll know the aircraft manufacturer is serious about space tourism when it invests billions, not $20 million.

— Rachel Bronstein

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Tourists to Return as India Claims to Loosen Grip on Kashmir

Chetan Karkhanis  / Flickr

Pilgrims gather in Kashmir in 2013. Chetan Karkhanis / Flickr

Skift Take: While India claims tourists will soon be welcome to return to Kashmir, the country’s crackdown on locals will continue. Mobile phones still won’t work, highlighting just how severe the Indian government’s tactics have been in its attempt to put down an uprising in the region.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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