Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Monday, March 21, in New York City. Here's what you need to know about the business of travel today.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.

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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast explains what uncertainty means to the travel industry now, why Fly Jinnah is entering the Asian low-cost airline market, and why the UK is lifting all Covid travel restrictions.

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Episode Notes

The United Kingdom has lifted all Covid-related restrictions two years after it first advised against all non-essential international travel, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Unvaccinated visitors to the UK no longer have to take a Covid test prior to departure as well as one two days after arriving in the country. The rule requiring vaccinated travelers to the UK to take tests had already been dropped. In addition, the passenger locator forms that visitors to the country had to fill out have been scrapped.

The UK government said the new measures, which took effect Friday morning, reflect its “Living with Covid” plan and the fact most of the country’s citizens are fully vaccinated. However, the UK has been grappling with a surge in Covid cases since the start of the month, leaving many to wonder how long the government will keep the measures in place.

Next, a trend Skift is exploring in-depth this year is uncertainty is the new certainty in travel, which includes companies having to deal with volatility in travel demand for the foreseeable future. So corporations will need to draw faster insights from their data to thrive, reports Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill.

As O’Neill writes that companies need ways to see the future with more clarity in an increasingly volatile world, Jason Guggenheim, an executive at the Boston Consulting Group, said more corporations are looking for subtle shifts in travel demand. Guggenheim said technology can help companies pick up those shifts, citing software from his company that offers a mix of predictions and analysis.

In addition, Guggenheim said companies need to plan their operations much faster, providing airlines as an example. Carriers in the past might have taken up to six months in advance to plan their networks and schedule flights, but due to increasing volatility, Guggenheim believes airlines need to be able to adjust their supply much faster.

We end today in Pakistan. The South Asian country is set to welcome another carrier to its airspace as low-cost Fly Jinnah prepares to launch later this year, writes Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

Fly Jinnah — a joint venture between Air Arabia Group and Pakistani business conglomerate Lakson Group — aims to obtain its air operator’s certificate in June, after which it will start flying domestically. The company has already started recruiting cabin crew members in several major Pakistani cities.

The launch of Fly Jinnah, Pakistan’s fourth private airline, will increase the already fierce competition in the country’s aviation sector. One industry expert believes the presence of another carrier will benefit consumers but could help drive some Pakistani airlines out of business. The debut of Serene Air in 2017 contributed to Shaheen Air folding after 24 years in business.

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Tags: coronavirus recovery, skift podcast