U.S. Airlines Fear ‘Crushing’ Blow From Possible Domestic Travel Testing Requirements

Courtesy of United Airlines  / United Airlines

The U.S. is considering mandating a negative Covid-19 test for all domestic air travelers. Courtesy of United Airlines / United Airlines

Skift Take: The eagerly awaited recovery in air travel that airlines have talked up may arrive late to the gate if the U.S. mandates negative Covid-19 tests for all domestic air travelers. The potential move could set back recovery efforts underway in the beleaguered industry.

— Edward Russell

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Alaska Airlines’ Incoming CEO Hopes Vaccines Ease a Turbulent Initiation

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is betting people more people will travel this summer — if they get vaccines. Alaska Airlines

Skift Take: Ben Minicucci will assume the top job at Alaska Airlines in two months — not an optimal time for any CEO, let alone a new one. President Biden’s pledge for wider distribution of vaccines has Miniccuci and his exec team hopeful Alaska will see even more leisure travel demand pick up starting this spring.

— Madhu Unnikrishnan

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Accor Partners With Miami-Based Faena to Fuel Its Lifestyle Hotel Strategy

Faena

Accor is partnering with Miami-based Faena on expanding the three-hotel company beyond Florida and South America (pictured: Pao, a restaurant at Faena Miami Beach). Faena

Skift Take: It may not be an outright acquisition, but Accor’s partnership with Faena further builds on the Paris-based hotel giant’s plan to be a leader in the trendy, lifestyle hotel sector coming out of the pandemic.

— Cameron Sperance

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Airlines May Actually Regain Some Pricing Power This Summer

formulanone  / Flickr

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby expects a “very steep” jump in travel demand later this year. formulanone / Flickr

Skift Take: The rollout of Covid-19 vaccines has the airline industry looking toward an “inflection point” when the travel recovery takes off later this year. That spike in flyers could mean some sky-high fares but, after more than a year stuck at home, travelers may not care.

— Edward Russell

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Travel Megatrends 2025: Humbled Airlines Back Away From Any Brash New Ventures

Salt Lake City International Airport

Planes on the tarmac at Salt Lake City International Airport. Salt Lake City International Airport

Skift Take: The global pandemic abruptly changed the world’s economy, and in a rush to revitalize their revenue streams, airlines are forgetting or neglecting people who run small businesses in the suburbs far away from any hubs. Is that wise or wishful thinking that it won’t matter?

— Ruthy Munoz

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Hotels Offer Space for Vaccine Sites: Good for Humankind, Good for Business

Andrey Popov  / Adobe

The U.S. hotel industry is offering the use of underutilized hotels to speed up the coronavirus vaccine distribution process. Andrey Popov / Adobe

Skift Take: Hotel operators may not see much revenue from offering their event spaces as coronavirus vaccine sites, but this is about the long game: the easier it is to vaccinate people, the quicker a hotel industry recovery can take place.

— Cameron Sperance

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Dear World Travel Groups, Stop the Mind-Boggling Confusion Over Testing and Vaccines Now

Manjurul  / Getty Images

Leading travel organizations’ statements on vaccine mandates are confusing and potentially harmful to the industry’s faster recovery. Manjurul / Getty Images

Skift Take: Nearly a year since Covid’s start, the lack of a united front among travel and tourism’s leading organizations and groups continues — this time, with confounding, divergent opinions on vaccine mandates. This fragmented approach is sure to stunt the industry’s pace of recovery.

— Lebawit Lily Girma

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Biden Adds South Africa to List of Travel Ban Countries With New Covid Strain Spreading

Dean Hutton  / Bloomberg

Travelers from Cape Town (pictured) and all of South Africa will be banned from entering the U.S. to contain the spread of a new variant of COVID-19, a senior U.S. public health official told Reuters. Dean Hutton / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Five days in office and President Joe Biden is wasting no time tightening up travel restrictions to get Covid-19 and all its variants under control. Short-term pain now for hopefully a better second half to 2021.

— Tom Lowry

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