In our coronavirus coverage this week, American Airlines slashes international routes for the summer, indicating it doesn't think demand will come back any time in the short-run. Plus, Airbnb CEO apologizes to hosts in the form of a $260 million relief package. And Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel is the first high-profile travel CEO to disclose he has contracted coronavirus.
Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering the impact of coronavirus by connecting the dots across the travel industry. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.
What This Decision by American Airlines Says About How Fast Demand Will Recover: The surprise here is not how many international flights American Airlines is cutting this summer. It is how many the airline intends to operate. American is only cutting 60 percent of its international flights this summer, compared to 2019. That seems optimistic.
What the $2 Trillion U.S. Stimulus Package Means for Travel Businesses: Lots of travel brands are eligible to earn U.S. government money through the so-called CARES Act. But firms will need to move fast to get their share. Here’s how it could all shake out.
Shuffled Not Shaken Out: How Hotel Giants Will Handle All Those Brands Post-Coronavirus: Recent brand buildup by global hotel giants has caused some analysts to caution against brand cannibalization, but the coronavirus downturn isn’t likely to change the push for more flags.
What’s Next for Trip.com Group as Coronavirus Crisis Subsides in China? For Trip.com Group’s top leader, the message is clear. Countries around the world should not squander any chances to control the virus, and neither should the travel industry let a serious crisis go to waste by not seeking out new opportunities.
Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel Tests Positive for Coronavirus: Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel said he “feels fine” after testing positive for coronavirus. As a public company, Booking Holdings prudently disclosed the diagnosis in a financial filing.
Virtual Reality Gives Training Boost to Asia’s Displaced Hotel Workers During Crisis Downtime: With borders shut and hotels closed during the coronavirus pandemic, this could be the moment for remote training — and virtual reality’s role — in hospitality to shine and take off.
Pregnant Short-Term Rental CEO on Facing Work-Life Challenges During the Pandemic: Even in a time of uncertainty, new trends and opportunities are emerging, and startup founders are carrying on with the business of building companies, as well as families. Over the next 12 months, companies that can show strong unit economics, counter-cyclical resiliency and resourcefulness will rise to the top.
Airbnb CEO Apologizes to Hosts With a $260 Million Relief Package: Airbnb initially made a pro-guest decision on refunds, but it now realizes its policy and its outreach to hosts was clumsy and unsatisfactory. Hosts still won’t be pleased, but the optics and financials aren’t as bad as before.
Travel CEO Video Messages: Best Practices for the Coronavirus Pandemic: Like any great speech, CEO videos about the coronavirus crisis need to be straightforward, authentic, and personal — and most important there needs to be substance to reinforce the message. Some brands have been able to deliver these crisis communications messages much better than others.
Tour Guides and Attractions Operators Shift to Testing Experiences — Online: Operators of tours, activities, and attractions are taking a crash course in online classes, virtual tours, and digital souvenir sales. We doubt these efforts can fully replace the revenue of in-person experiences. Yet there are needs to fill. Many housebound people and remote teams could use the human connection, while many hosts are eager for income.
United Airlines President No Longer Counting on Quick ‘Snap Back: United Airlines is in great peril, losing $100 million in revenue per day. But its CEO-in-waiting is already thinking about how the airline can emerge stronger from this crisis. Let’s see if he can pull it off.
Airlines Could Start Facing Legal Challenges Over Withholding Refunds: Suing an airline is a drastic measure, but shows how deep this crisis is.
Photo credit: Pictured is an American Airlines Oneworld aircraft in the foreground March 31, 2020. The airline has massively trimmed its European summer schedule. Mike Simons / The Associated Press