Skift Take

In Skift’s top travel stories this week, EasyJet partnered with Deutsche Bahn on combination tickets, Southwest sued Skiplagged, Sabre said it ha a chance of beating pre-pandemic margins, and a downsized regional airline plans to relaunch.

Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including 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.

EasyJet’s Rail Deal Highlights New Airline Sector Way of Selling Trains and Flights: Airlines need to work more closely with railway operators to fend off climate change activists. But they also need to test new technological ways of selling content from other suppliers. Let’s think beyond joint ventures, codeshares, and interlining.

Hyatt Explores Brand Acquisitions to Fuel European Growth: Seizing smart, strategic opportunities coming out of the pandemic is top of mind at Hyatt, of course. But the Chicago-based company shouldn’t expect any bargains in its potential European brand hunt. The competition is too fierce.

Corporate Travel’s Start Reality Versus the Delusions of Airlines: Deloitte has taken the pulse of corporate America, and the 150 travel managers it surveyed are a lot more cautious than airlines would have you believe.

Southwest Lawsuit Alleges Skiplagged and Kiwi Collude to Deceive Flyers: The smart money has Southwest prevailing in this lawsuit against Skiplagged, given the airlines’s 17-year history of beating back such alleged interlopers. On the other hand, when it came to an Orbitz lawsuit, Skiplagged knew how to bob and weave.

Booking Holdings Sees Connected Trip Strategy as Critical to Post-Crisis Growth: is a one-trick pony, but it’s quite a trick. The brand shines at selling hotel stays online. Yet parent company Booking Holdings wants the brand to succeed at cross-selling all types of travel post-pandemic. That will be trickier.

Indonesia’s Traveloka Reportedly Seeking $400 Million for SPAC Deal to Go Public: PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Hong Kong investor Richard Li are emerging as frontrunners with their Bridgetown Holdings venture to help this fast-growing travel startup finally list.

Could Other Airports Follow Pittsburgh’s Lead to Diversify Revenue?: The pandemic and the push for sustainability are forcing airports to think outside of the box. The more creative, the bigger the win, it seems. But are some of these revenue-generating ideas here for the long run or only until travel recovers?

Can a Downsized Regional Airline Relaunch in a Pandemic? ExpressJet Thinks It Can: Like Lazarus, regional carrier ExpressJet hopes to rise from the dead. Can the airline survive flying on its own during a pandemic with small jets? The airline almost pulled it off before, but can it do it again, or will history repeat itself?

Did Kiwi Figure Out How to Hack Southwest for Flight Information?: Airlines have complained about the hidden costs of online travel agency web-scraping for years, but Southwest takes that sensitivity to a much higher strategic level. Kiwi apparently is adept at out-maneuvering Southwest’s page-scraping roadblocks so the courts will have to sort it all out.

Sabre Bets Big on Post-Pandemic Surge in Software Demand From Airlines and Hotels: Operational software may sound dull, but it could become dramatically lucrative for Sabre once the crisis recedes and airlines and hotels resume spending on travel technology.

This Is Marriott’s Earnings Week to Lose: If Accor can go from billion-dollar losses to profitability in a matter of months, Marriott shareholders should expect plenty of financial gains and optimism on Tuesday’s earnings call.

The Domestic Routes That Saw Huge Gains in the Worst Year Ever for Airlines All in Asia: The fact that the most traveled domestic routes for 2020 were all in Asia reflects some sort of success in containing Covid-19 on the continent despite continuing challenges.

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Tags: asia, booking holdings, easyjet, expressjet, flights, hyatt, marriott, sabre, southwest airlines, Traveloka

Photo credit: EasyJet and Deutsche Bahn began selling in late July combination tickets that include flights and rail travel. Deutsche Bahn train pictured. Deutsche Bahn

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