WHAT TO KNOW NOW
Southwest pilots and ground workers aren’t happy with management. After a record-breaking IT debacle late last month, the Dallas, Texas-based airline was forced to cancel as many as 8,000 flights — and according to the staff, it’s the fault of CEO Gary Kelly and COO Mike Van de Ven.
Union complaints state that the airline hasn’t made important IT updates over the last several years and has focused too much on profits, a reasonable claim in this era of ultra-profitable carriers. Already Kelly has denounced the complaints as nonsense even as more unions within the airline voice their disdain.
But will the grousing cause any movement? Perhaps. If the airline remains profitable, then Kelly has a good defense as the CEO who pulled the carrier through the Great Recession. But if profits continue to slip and shareholders side with the unions, then the CEO’s future may get more interesting.
SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY
Southwest Airlines’ profits for the quarter have been clouded by rising costs http://for.tn/29Xr0Jt
British Airways Owner Relying on Aer Lingus to Soften Brexit Blow: It is not the easiest time to operate a European airline company, especially one with heavy exposure to the United Kingdom. Read more at Skift
Lufthansa Says Rest of 2016 Will Bring Lower Ticket Prices and Terror Fears: Deutsche Lufthansa AG predicted further declines in ticket prices this year and deepened a loss forecast for its Eurowings low-cost brand, as a demand slowdown stemming from terrorist attacks in Europe was met by too much seating across the airline industry. Read more at Skift
Southwest CEO Must Go Pilots’ Union Says: Pilots’ union leaders are asking Southwest to replace CEO Gary Kelly because of the technology outage that caused the airline to cancel or delay thousands of flights in July. Read more at Skift
TWA Terminal Hotel Construction Begins at JFK: Work has begun, and construction workers have been spotted at the site, along with a huge mound of earth piling up next to the iconic edifice. Read more at Condé Nast Traveler
Emirates Plane Crash Closes Dubai Airport, All Passengers and Crew Safe: Emirates suffered the worst incident in its 30-year history when a Boeing Co. 777-300 arriving from India crash-landed in Dubai before bursting into flames, with all passengers and crew managing to escape unharmed. Read more at Skift
American Airlines wants Delta held to strict conditions for Minneapolis-to-Tokyo route: American Airlines thinks the U.S. government erred last month in awarding Delta Air Lines a coveted route from Minneapolis to Tokyo’s close-in Haneda Airport, instead of American’s proposed service from DFW International Airport. Read more at The Dallas Morning News
International Business Travel to the U.S. Grew Faster Than Leisure Travel in 2015: Major U.S. destinations still count more fanny packs and selfie sticks than brief cases and note pads among their visitors, but international business travel to the U.S. grew more than leisure travel in 2015. Read more at Skift
You Can Now Book Icelandair Tickets on Facebook Messenger: Seeking to attract tech-savvy customers who increasingly book on mobile devices, Icelandair now allows customers to book flights on Facebook Messenger. Read more at Skift
The Corporate Travel Technology Arms Race According to Egencia: When Expedia CEO Dara Khosroshahi said last month that a new wave of corporate travel consolidation is in the offing, he noted that the increased need for advanced technology would likely drive the first wave of activity. Read more at Skift
Car Service Provider Blacklane Looks to Grow Globally After Daimler Investment: Daimler AG led the biggest funding round yet in Blacklane GmbH, a Berlin-based competitor to Uber Technologies Inc. that’s seeking to expand in Asia and the Middle East. Read more at Skift
Kimpton Is Latest Hotel Chain to Deal With Credit Card Data Breach: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the latest hotel chain having to investigate a credit card data breach at its properties. On July 26, the company announced it was “recently made aware of a report of unauthorized charges occurring on cards that were previously used legitimately at Kimpton properties.” Read more at Skift
Hyatt Is Happy to Sell Properties in Order to Buy More Elsewhere: Hyatt Hotels Corp., controlled by the Pritzker family of Chicago, is in talks to sell some properties as it weighs purchases in the most attractive markets for expanding its brands, CEO Mark Hoplamazian said Tuesday. Read more at Skift
This Is How Hotels Could Win the Direct Booking Wars: Can hotels win the direct booking wars? Or are the online travel agencies like Booking.com and Expedia just too big to fail? Read more at Skift
Next week brings the annual Book Passage Conference in Corte Madera, California, just north of San Francisco. A hodgepodge of the country’s best travel writers will convene there for four days of coursework and merrymaking. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by for a visit.
TIPS AND COMMENTS
Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin