Skift Take

Turkish Airlines has ambitions to become the go-to airline for travelers flying to and from secondary cities across the world. Its model has worked so far, and it will be interesting to see how it can improve its product while managing to expand its network further.

I was in Istanbul this week for the Turkish Airlines Corporate Club conference, where the airline’s leadership further detailed its plans to grow over the next five years as a more formidable option for business travelers.

The airline has been troubled by a drop in demand following the country’s 2016 coup and currency fluctuations in the past year, as the Turkish economy has struggled following an infrastructure building boom. Yet, the airline will be one of the beneficiaries of that boom, with a major new airport set to open next month about 30 minutes outside the center of the city.

Check out my story below covering the airline’s plans to become the next great global connector for business travelers. While there still aren’t solid plans to improve its aging business class product, word was a new concept is coming as it gets ready to accept a number of Dreamliners in the coming years.

We’ve also got the latest on Priority Pass moving into dining and how Iceland’s Wow Air is dealing with the ramifications of a slowdown in its low-cost long-haul business.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @sheivach.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

Airlines, Hotels, and Innovation

Turkish Airlines Plans for Growth With Biz Travel at Core: Do business travelers really want one-stop service around the world? Turkish Airlines is continuing its strategy of using Istanbul as a bridge between the East and West, although a lot is riding on improvements to its business class product, whenever they emerge.

Priority Pass Parent Expands Further Into Dining: Collinson, the parent company of Priority Pass, made a wise move investing in airport-food-ordering app Grab. There’s plenty to improve about the experience of dining in the terminal.

Onetime Disruptor Wow Air Is Ready for a Reinvention: Wow Air is being squeezed from all sides. It will need to reinvent its business if it wants to survive. The good news is that the company’s founder and CEO, Skúli Mogensen, is willing to take some risks.

Tours and Experiences: The Next Great Untapped Market in Online Travel: Vacationers want to experience something new and are tired of the same old tours and activities. While global tour operators are baking more customization into their products, digital distribution is changing the way local operators do business.

The Future of Travel

Emirates President Warns of Mini Financial Crisis Within Three Years: What Emirates President Tim Clark is saying isn’t revolutionary. There will be a reset in the global economy, and airlines likely will suffer. Some may even go out of business. We just don’t know when the economic shock will come.

Samsonite Says Luggage Prices Will Increase on Trump’s Tariff Hit: Samsonite warns vendors that prices may rise about 10 percent due to costs linked to new duties the Trump Administration is imposing on imports from China. The U.S. imported more than $3 billion in luggage from China last year.

Meituan’s Hong Kong IPO May Intensify Its Rivalry With Ctrip: China’s travel market is fast-growing enough that it could support a competitor to current leader Ctrip. That day may arrive soon, too, given that Meituan-Dianping is showing surprising traction in hotel booking.


Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Tags: corporate travel, ctir, turkish airlines

Photo credit: Passengers boarding a Turkish Airlines aircraft. George Redgrave / Flickr

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