Skift Take

For the next phase of our subscription-only Skift Airline Weekly, we've picked a leader who not only understands the aviation industry but has a vision for the best way to explain it to the professionals who have come to rely on its excellent reporting and analysis.

We announced back in September the acquisition of Airline Weekly, a subscription-only weekly newsletter for professionals in the world of aviation as well as for people whose jobs rely on knowing essential insights into the industry.

We thought Airline Weekly would make a great fit at Skift, and allow us to reach a new audience of like-minded readers. Bringing Airline Weekly into Skift’s fold made sense because we thrive on speaking to the industry and we knew the power of a loyal subscriber base, thanks to our history with Skift Research. And even though we have a large body of readers from airlines and airports, we felt that we could speak to them better with a dedicated service, such as the one Airline Weekly provides.

Since the acquisition, we’ve worked with the team at Airline Weekly to rebrand the newsletter (now with a “Skift” to start), update the website, and get ready for bigger changes. Jay Shabat, Seth Kaplan, and Jason Cottrell have been excellent partners in this transition.

The next part of the transition involves a new editor to lead the newsletter. Skift Airline Weekly’s new editor Madhu Unnikrishnan introduced himself to subscribers on Monday, and we are introducing him to Skift readers today. Unnikrishnan has worked as a journalist for almost two decades, much of that time spent in numerous roles at Aviation Week magazine. Beginning as a correspondent, he rose to the role of editor-in-chief of the publication’s Aviation Daily service. As a writer and an editor, he led coverage of the global airline industry for an international audience of c-suite airline and airport executives.

As Unnikrishnan says in a note to subscribers, it’s an excellent time to be taking on the task of extending Skift Airline Weekly’s reach:

“In the time since Airline Weekly launched 15 years ago, the airline industry has undergone remarkable change, to an industry almost unrecognizable when we put out our first issue. Airlines have consolidated. Low-cost carriers started in regions that hadn’t seen them before. The rise of the ultra-low-cost carrier. Low-cost long-haul. Oil prices spiked to record heights and fell again. Airframers launched game-changing, technologically advanced aircraft like the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 (and the A380). The industry globally roared to profitability. These are just some of the ways the industry has transformed since that first issue of Airline Weekly in June 2004.”

You’ll get to know Unnikrishnan in the coming months as he re-launches the Skift Airline Weekly Lounge podcast, joins us onstage at Skift Forum Asia, and works on an overhaul to Skift Airline Weekly’s newsletter product and digital offering.

He’ll be joined in this by Skift Airline Weekly veteran Shabat, whom subscribers have come to rely on week in and week out for his analysis of the global aviation industry (this week Vietnam’s boom, last week a battle in Spain). Cottrell and Kaplan will be moving on to new challenges at the end of this month and we’re incredibly grateful for what they built. We think they provided the perfect base to introduce Skift Airline Weekly to an even-wider audience.

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Tags: airline weekly

Photo credit: Skift Airline Weekly Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan in New York City. Skift

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