What to Know Now

There’s a new airframe out in the public this week and it’s flying Airbus colors. The A350 XWB is Airbus’s answer to the Boeing 787. It’s composite. It’s lightweight. It’s efficient. And hopefully it can make up some of the ground that Boeing has been gobbling up with it’s highly successful 78 airframe.

Whether from Boeing or Airbus, it’s great to see innovation in the airline industry, and many enthusiastic aviation geeks like myself are looking forward to flying on the A350. Travelers in the US, however, may have to wait some time. The first scheduled deliveries of the aircraft are slated for Qatar Airways, so unless you have travel through Doha coming up it may be a while. United, US Airways and Hawaiian are the current mainline American carriers with orders.

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Social Quote of the Day

On-Board Qatar’s A350 XWB Media Flight and a First Look at the Interior http://bit.ly/1v97Kfh

@airwaysnews | Airways News, covering every facet of commercial aviation worldwide

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Airlines

Rumors of British Airways Bid for Aer Lingus Drives Stock Surge: Aer Lingus Group Plc shares rose the most in 2 1/2 years after the Financial Times reported that British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group SA is considering a takeover bid. Read more at Skift

Etihad’s Three-Room Suite Is Finally Ready for Takeoff: Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, Etihad, showcased on Thursday the arrival of its first Airbus A380, outfitted with “the only three-room suite in the sky.” Read more at Skift

American Airlines Gets on Bandwagon and Lures Business Travelers With Incentives: Business travelers are the new Instagram of the aviation industry. They’re profitable. They’re wanted. And airlines are tripping over each other trying to figure out how to lure in their business. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Which Airlines Lose Your Bags, Baby? Checking a bag on your next flight? No doubt you’ve factored the checked-bag fee into your choice of airline. But have you also considered the likelihood that your bag will actually be delivered? Read more at FrequentFlier.com

UK airports staff vote for Christmas strike: Check-in staff and cargo handlers at Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports have voted to stage a two-day strike next week. Read more at Business Traveller

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Tech

Passengers Win as Airlines and In-Flight Wi-Fi Suppliers Feud: As the in-flight Wi-Fi race continues, times are good for multiple-device toting, text slinging, email rustling, always-on passengers. Read more at Skift

Hilton Pushes Digital Check-in Worldwide: Hilton Worldwide has announced that its pioneering digital check-in and room selection technology is now live across more than 4,100 hotels spanning 11 brands worldwide. Read more at Breaking Travel News

What Travel’s Top CEOs Have to Say About Consumers’ Mobile Habits: Like an artist surveying a blank canvas, Kayak CEO Steve Hafner and his technophile minions just love the fact that smartphone screens are getting bigger, and these out-sized homescreens are likely to play a pumped-up role for travelers as they switch from phone to laptop and tablet, and back again. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

Hyatt Introduces Free Wi-Fi Throughout All Its Properties: Hyatt Hotels announced that it would begin providing free Wi-Fi in guest rooms and public spaces at all Hyatt hotels worldwide as of February 2015. Use of Wi-Fi will not be limited to members of its loyalty programs, as was previously done. Read more at Skift

Marriott Wants to Be an Incubator for Culinary Entrepreneurs: Marriott International is going after millennials from every angle possible. Read more at Skift

Starwood Ramps up Build of Element Hotels Extended-Stay Brand: The new Element Frankfurt Hotel officially opened this month near the city’s airport, making this the first non-U.S. destination for Starwood Hotels’ sustainable “eco-wise” extended-stay brand. Read more at Skift

Interview: Commune CEO on How Lifestyle Hotels Adapt to Guest Desires: Commune Hotels and Resorts is a relatively new hotel company, which formed in 2011 when boutique hotel brand Joie de Vivre merged with luxury lifestyle brand Thompson Hotels. In addition to the two founding brands, Commune recently launched tommie, a value-oriented that combined the luxury and bespoke lifestyle elements of the former brands. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Via @scottelmore, beware Trans-Gouge airlines this holiday season. Travel safe, travel well and enjoy the break. We’ll be back next Monday.

TIPS AND COMMENTS

Can be sent to gm@skift.com and @grantkmartin. We publish the Business Newsletter twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday, but sometimes on Friday.

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Photo Credit: Interior of Airbus' new A350XWB. Qatar Airways