Skift Take

In top travel stories this week, Skift wrote about a contactless-tech airport terminal, 2022 as the earliest coronavirus recovery, Marriott's CEO talking about hygiene theater, United pointing to its future scaled-down size, and plenty more.

Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including on the impact of coronavirus. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.

Ethiopian Airlines Debuts First Covid-Era, Contactless Terminal: From government bailouts to layoffs, commercial airlines have taken drastic measures to stay afloat since Covid-19. Not Ethiopian – now operating out of the second largest capacity airport in Africa, while turning a profit and forging ahead with further expansion plans beyond its new state-of-art, bio-safety terminal.

United Airlines Will Remain Half Its Size Until Vaccine Is Widely Distributed: CEO: United expects to remain half its size till the end of next year, when CEO Scott Kirby thinks a vaccine will be widely available. But will it be in a position to respond quickly to demand if the company is forced to lay off tens of thousands of employees?

Expedia CEO Says Company Overhaul Will Be Done in Time for Travel’s Recovery: Talk about tough love. The CEO of Expedia Group, Peter Kern, is sticking with the tough line despite the pandemic by still demanding a significant reorganization and tech revamp for the online travel giant.

Barry Diller Shares Pandemic Highs and Lows, Snapping Up MGM Resorts Stake While Rescuing Expedia With Debt: Both of Barry Diller’s companies, IAC and Expedia, are now invested in a travel recovery, which he thinks will arrive in only a matter of time. Count Diller on the side of those who believe the new normal will resemble its former self more than many people imagine.

Forget 2021 — Leading Science Writer Says Pandemic Is a 36-Month Event: Bad news for 2021 optimists. Leading science writer and pandemic expert Laurie Garrett says while we’re waiting for a vaccine, wear a mask. It might even be more effective.

Las Vegas Resorts Scramble for New Strategies Amid 4th Straight Month of No Conventions: Las Vegas casino resorts are seeking creative alternative revenue streams while convention travel is bottomed out, but it’s highly unlikely anything will match the dollars associated with a mammoth, multi-day event.

Corporate Travel Faces a Grand Experiment: Corporate travel is barreling down an uncertain road to a facelift that could strip it down to essential business by the time the travel sector gets to the other side of its coronavirus rebound.

Delta CEO’s Optimistic View Is Covid-19 Will Be a ‘Two-Year Journey:’ Under Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines has taken a prudent approach to managing through this pandemic. The airline is not expecting a recovery for about two years.

CitizenM’s Facebook HQ Hotel Deal Says A Lot About Where Corporate Travel Is Heading: Alliances like this pay off not just for the hospitality groups, but also for those companies wanting to prove to their staffs that it’s not all about remote working.

Venture Firm Howzat Is Raising $120 Million to Find the Next Trivago or Airbnb: Here’s a bright ray of positivity in a gloomy time. Howzat is raising a big fund, and it plans to make roughly half of its investments in travel and transportation startups.

Marriott CEO Embraces ‘Hygiene Theater,’ Noting All the Measures Boost Guest Comfort Levels: It’s unlikely economic lockdowns are in the cards for preventing future coronavirus case surges in the U.S., and Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson’s defense of “hygiene theater” shows what the business community sees as a viable alternative safety measure.

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Tags: citizenm, delta, ethiopian airlines, expedia, hotels, marriott, venture capital

Photo credit: An Ethiopian Airlines on approach from Addis Ababa at Hong Kong International Airport on June 27, 2015. The airline opened a terminal featuring contactless technologies. Christian Junker Photography /

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