In Skift's top stories this week, Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines unveil plans to merge in a massive deal, Philippines Airlines makes a tumultuous leadership change, and European officials implement new metrics for measuring tourism success.
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.
Frontier Airlines to Buy Spirit in $6.6 Billion Cash-Stock Deal: The rumors have come true with Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines unveiling plans to merge Monday. The deal would create a U.S. budget juggernaut and the country’s fifth largest airline but likely faces a tough approvals process from the pro-competition Biden administration.
Philippine Airlines Fresh From Bankruptcy Descends Right Back Into Tumult: Philippine Airlines has finally exited from Chapter 11, with debts erased and new capital infused. But will these be enough to keep it flying with clearly too many pilots in its cockpit?
Europe to Weigh New Ways to Measure Tourism Success: A lot of talk has surfaced these past two years, but this fresh report from the European Commission affirms EU tourism boards’ agreement to implement new tourism metrics, and to prioritize both residents and tourists when it comes to travel services. It seems to indicate a turning point for the future of EU tourism.
Don’t Expect a Huge Crisis Bounceback for Online Travel Agencies This Time: The online travel space has always been super-competitive, but established players like Expedia Group and Booking Holdings face a growing roster of formidable competitors, including hotels, Google and Airbnb.
Accenture Looks to Reinvent Travel Loyalty for an Eco-Conscious World: Travel brands have little choice but to make a fresh start with their loyalty programs, because they can’t keep on extending points and status forever.
TripActions Rolls Up Another European Travel Agency With German Acquisition: Mergers and acquisitions in the corporate travel space look set to continue, even after the roller-coaster year that was 2021. Now Berlin’s Comtravo, a Microsoft-backed travel agency, is selling up.
Online Travel Agencies to Tap Ticketmaster to Sell Live Events: Within a few months, online resellers such as Viator and GetYourGuide will offer U.S. concerts and sports at scale. Cross-selling will be a catchy melody in 2022.
Aeromexico to Buy Back Loyalty Program for $405 Million: Loyalty is big business for airlines, from retaining lucrative business travelers to earning big bucks from credit card partnerships. Aeromexico is the latest airline to take full control of its loyalty program with plans to buy out investor Aimia.
TAP Air Portugal CEO Says Airline Passengers Will Wear Masks Forever: Christine Ourmières-Widener suggests that airplane mask mandates could be a forever thing — which would be certain to keep the unruly passenger factor stoked on board flights.
Omni Adds a Lifestyle Hotel Flavor to Hedge Against Convention Business: Omni’s strategy for convention hotels is stuffing the ground floor with local restaurants and bars, offering a revenue lift in tough times. But it also costs a lot of money to develop. If you build it, it better be cool enough to motivate local residents to show up.
Photo credit: Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines have announced a merger deal that would create the fifth largest carrier in the U.S. Tomás Del Coro / Flickr