Skift Take

In Skift's top stories this week, Hawaiian Airlines bets a new business class cabin will attract leisure travelers, the UK is increasing taxes on long-haul flights, and Hilton gets an enormous boost from strong business travel numbers.

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.

Hawaiian Airlines Gambles on Big New Business Class Cabin: Hawaiian Airlines is late to the lie-flat seat game, but its new Boeing 787s will have 34 beds in the front of the aircraft. Why? The airline thinks leisure travelers, especially from Japan, will pony up when travel restrictions ease and they resume vacations to Hawaii again.

Mobile Apps Are Already Changing Layouts for Hotel Design: Future hotel guests arriving at their destinations may see reconfigurations to public spaces in response to apps that are changing the way customers interact with the property.

Trivago and China’s Huawei Partner for Smartphone Company’s Paid Search: The Trivago-Huawei deal is one of several Trivago is piloting where it provides backend services to business partners. These could develop one day into a material revenue stream for the German company.

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The Problem With Vaccinated Travel Lanes: It’s time for Singapore — and others taking a more step-by-step approach to reopening — to show a little more boldness on travel. Stop “picking winners” and skewing the market.

Why Is the UK Boosting Taxes on Long-Haul Flights?: Tourists will be footing the higher rate with a new “ultra” long-haul tax as part of plans to reduce emissions just as international travel is starting to ramp back up. Still, many businesses will welcome the reduction in passenger taxes on short-haul flights

Hilton Gets a Surprising Boost From Business Travel: Don’t rule out the little players. Small and medium-sized businesses are largely back on the road, and that’s helping lift Hilton’s profit margins.

Tour Operator Intrepid Travel to Open Its Own Branded Hotels Across Asia Pacific: A significant part of Intrepid Travel’s planned expansion involves finding pandemic-induced hotel investment bargains. But this kind of strategy hasn’t panned out in other parts of the world.

Grab and Western Superapp Confusion: Grab emerged as a leading superapp because of conditions specific to Southeast Asia. Don’t look for U.S. and European copycats to get traction.

Behind the WeWork IPO Financing It Hopes Takes the Target Off Its Back: The world’s most famous flexible co-working space provider has a new lease on life following its SPAC deal, but is its model still relevant for the post-pandemic workforce? Its backers are betting so.

JetBlue Pushes Back on Antitrust Critics Over American Airlines Alliance: JetBlue claims its Northeast alliance with American Airlines will result in $800 million in annual consumer benefits, even though the U.S. Justice Department begs to differ. One thing is certain, though. The alliance will give leisure-focused JetBlue access to American’s deep pool of corporate accounts.

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Tags: hawaii, hawaiian airlines, hotels, intrepid travel, mobile apps, top stories, trivago

Photo credit: Hawaiian Airlines is betting big on business class suites Eric Salard / Wikimedia Commons

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