What to Know Now
With all of that moneymaking going on over in the commercial airline industry you’d think that bankruptcy would be a far cry for most carriers, but Republic Airways just proved us wrong. Late last week the Indianapolis-based carrier filed for bankruptcy citing a pilot shortage and irreconcilable partner contracts. Republic partners with the big three carriers to operate many of their regional flights on routes such as Chicago to Milwaukee or San Francisco to Bend.
As with most carrier bankruptcies, not much will change from the consumer perspective. Flights will still go on, miles will be earned and to the untrained eye it’ll be business as casual. Over the next several months, however, Republic needs to put some serious work into finding pilots and renegotiating contracts. Anyone need a job?
Social Quote of the Day
Everything you need to know about renting a friend in Toyko—yes, you need to know about it http://bit.ly/1TISAx7
British Airways to Grow Fleet After Profit Leap in 2015: British Airways owner IAG SA said it’s making progress in talks to add more wide-body jets at the U.K. carrier in order to tap surging demand after profit across the group jumped 68 percent in 2015. Read more at Skift
Airline Seat Sizes Should Be Federally Mandated Says Senator: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer wants to require the Federal Aviation Administration to establish seat-size standards for commercial airlines, which he says now force passengers to sit on planes “like sardines.” Read more at Skift
Pilot Shortage Forces Republic Airways to File for Bankruptcy: Short-haul carrier Republic Airways Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy Thursday, blaming a lack of pilots for its failure to succeed when major airlines are enjoying record profits. Read more at Skift
How American Airlines May Be Making In-Flight Wi-Fi Better for Everyone: The public spat between American Airlines Group Inc. and Gogo Inc., which provides the bulk of the carrier’s domestic inflight Wi-Fi, could be considered the final blow to ground-based Internet access that has become another irritating part of the air-travel experience. Read more at Skift
U.S. Air Traffic Control Privatization Will Likely Die in the House: A House Republican aide says GOP leaders are sidelining a bill that would wrest responsibility for running the nation’s air traffic control system from the government and turn it over to a private, nonprofit corporation run by airlines and other aviation interests. Read more at Skift
What Daytime Haneda Flights Will Mean for Delta in Tokyo: Last week the US and Japan came to an agreement to expand operation at Tokyo’s close-in airport Haneda beginning this Fall. We know Delta is strongly against this, but others are thrilled. What can we realistically expect to happen? Read more at CrankyFlier
Boingo’s Losses Widen in 2015 But Still Beat Wall Street Expectations: The provider of Wi-Fi hotspots in airports and other public places posted revenue of $38.8 million in the period, falling short of Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $40.2 million. Read more at Skift
How Smart Travel Brands Understand Facebook Videos: As of November 2015, Facebook was serving 8 billion video views per day, which is double the rate from just April of the same year. Read more at Skift
Guestnet, Airportels and More in Today’s Travel Startup Watch: These startups may have just launched a product or the may merely be an idea in the head of an entrepreneur, but they are worth looking at to better understand where the activity is in the travel sector. Read more at Skift
Gogo’s CEO Envisions Better Wi-Fi Making Airline Passengers Happier: While Gogo has been in the news lately as a result of a lawsuit filed by American Airlines, executives said this week on the company’s earning call that it still anticipates its market penetration to grow due to increased flyer demand for internet bandwidth. Read more at Skift
Uber Rival Gett Said to Seek Up to $400 Million in New Funds: Gett Inc., a taxi-ordering application that competes with Uber Technologies Inc., is seeking to raise $300 million to $400 million in a private-funding round, according to people familiar to the matter. Read more at Skift
Hilton Will Spin Off Properties and Timeshares to Accelerate Asset-Light Strategy: Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., the world’s largest operator of hotel rooms, said it will continue to pursue spinoffs of its hotel properties and timeshare business to boost shareholder value. Read more at Skift
Hilton’s New Ad Campaign and the Push for More Direct Hotel Bookings: For the 24.95 million people who tuned in to watch the Grammy Awards on CBS last week, an advertisement from Hilton may have stood out — especially if they were travel agents. Read more at Skift
Hilton CEO Says Cancellation Fees Will Stick Around Even if Guests Hate Them: The results of Hilton Worldwide’s recent guest cancellation fees experiment are in: customers “unsurprisingly hated” the fees, as CEO Chris Nassetta put it, but they’ll likely continue in some variation as Hilton tests and implements new fee and pricing structures throughout 2016. Read more at Skift
More fodder for the debate on whether freelancers should be paid is over on Vox.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin