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What to Know Now
Virgin America, the country’s most popular (or pop-culture, at least) airline may be exploring a sale, according to anonymous sources inside of the Bloomberg (Illuminati) network. Details are still light at this point, but the source did confirm that the airline is working with potential buyers to sell either a partial or full stake in the carrier.
As to who could potentially be interested, nobody has a clue. American and United are still ironing out their own torrid mergers, while few other carriers would be interested in Virgin America’s assets or landing slots.
The only feasible scenario may lie in a Delta acquisition. Skift’s Marisa Garcia suggests that Delta has a compatible business strategy and could use Virgin America’s landing slots in Dallas. Additionally, an acquisition would boost Delta’s presence in San Francisco, which is currently underseved by the airline.
Either way, the era of the over-the-top safety video may be coming to an end. Enjoy the peace and quiet.
Social Quote of the Day
I would like to go on the record now and say I think it’s Delta. DL already owns a chunk of ’em anyway.
Virgin America Hires Financial Advisor To Mull Sale: Virgin America Inc., the airline backed by U.K. billionaire Richard Branson, is reaching out to potential buyers about a sale of part or all of the company, people with knowledge of the matter said. Read more at Skift
United’s Dissident Stockholders Say Board Is Misleading Stakeholders: As the United board lines up its unions against a proxy fight, dissident shareholders, who own more than 7 percent of the airline, say the board is misleading stakeholders about their effort to win six seats on the currently 15-member United board. Read more at Skift
This New Blended Cabin Could Introduce the World’s First Lay-Flat Premium Economy Seat: As we move closer to a future of air travel where traditional cabin class labels lose all meaning, Formation Design is proposing a blended premium cabin which could introduce the world’s first lay-flight Premium Economy seats — occupying the same cabin area as private Business class suites. Read more at Skift
Europe’s Airport Leaders Push for Greater Security Coordination After Brussels Attacks: Europe’s Airports Council International (ACI-Europe), itself located in Brussels, released a statement expressing sorrow and shock at today’s attacks in the city. Read more at Skift
After Brussels Attacks U.S. Will Tighten Security at Airports and Transit Points: Security will be tightened at airports, rail stations and ports in the U.S. in response to the deadly bombings in Brussels, according to a government official briefed on the plan. Read more at Skift
Dubai’s New Airport Is Already Planning to Expand: Dubai is already home to the world’s busiest international travel airport and now authorities have announced expansion plans for the city-state’s second airport. Read more at Skift
Renaissance Hotels’ New Flagship Adds ‘Minority Report’ to the Guest Experience: Every morning at 4 a.m., the server at the new Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel pings the server at the Time Out New York media company to pull new travel and event content into the hotel’s groundbreaking digital theater experience using “ambient intelligence.” Read more at Skift
Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode is now available as a retrofit upgrade for the P90D: Tesla doesn’t want any of its customers to miss out on its aptly-named Ludicrous Mode, and is now offering the speed boost as an upgrade for the Model S P90D. Read more at The Verge
Three Charts on the Growing Cost of Corporate Travel: Rising costs, and an uncertain global economy, have caused corporate travel managers to expect more conservative growth in business travel this year. Read more at Skift
AccorHotels Rewards Loyalty Members for Their Opinions: If you’re a member of AccorHotels’ loyalty program, Le Club AccorHotels, you could earn points — just for telling them how you feel. Read more at Skift
Why Airbnb Won’t Be Great at Selling Hotel Rooms: Investors have been consumed with the notion that Airbnb is gunning for the online travel agencies and that it will eventually turn from apartment rentals to hotels and steal those big, fat hotel margins and profits from Expedia and Booking.com. Read more at Skift
This Is How Marriott Could Lose Starwood to Anbang’s Investor Group: Although Marriott International successfully wooed Starwood Hotels & Resorts back with its newly revised merger agreement worth $13.6 billion on March 21, there are still a number of reasons why rival Anbang Insurance Group has the best odds for winning Starwood in the end, before Marriott and Starwood’s shareholder votes take place on April 8. Read more at Skift
Skift CMO Interviews: How Hilton is Convincing Travelers to Book Direct: According to Hilton Worldwide, 57 billion Hilton HHonors Points went unused in 2015 because guests booked through a third party, equating to more than 1.6 million free nights lost. Read more at Skift
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin