Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Tuesday, April 12, 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

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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast explains why Frontier Airlines comes out on top no matter its acquirer, Marriott’s secret to success in Asia, and why short-term rentals are seeing success in retail sales.



Episode Notes

JetBlue Airways shocked the aviation industry when it unveiled a $3.6 billion offer to acquire low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, potentially derailing Frontier Airlines’ planned merger with Spirit. However, Frontier will emerge as a big winner no matter what happens, write Airlines Reporter Edward Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

Russell and Unnikrishnan write the general belief among analysts is if the
Frontier-Spirit deal occurs, Frontier would get its desired merger while if JetBlue acquires Spirit, Frontier would become the only large deep discount carrier in the U.S. market. While it is possible that neither deal occurs, most Wall Street analysts consider such an outcome unlikely.

Spirit CEO Ted Christie told staff last week that the airline’s board is considering whether to accept JetBlue’s unsolicited offer. A JetBlue-Spirit combination would create an airline with an 8 percent share of U.S. domestic travelers.

Next, Marriott is bullish on achieving enormous growth in the Asia-Pacific region, but what’s driving the company’s optimism? Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia writes that Marriott Bonvoy — the hotel giant’s loyalty program — is a major reason.

A company executive said that growing the Marriott Bonvoy, which has more than 55 million members in the Asia Pacific region, is a crucial part of the company’s consumer strategy, and it’s turned to food and beverage to do so. Food and beverage already forms 40 percent of Marriott’s business in Asia Pacific, and the hotel giant recently launched a takeaway and delivery service named Marriott Bonvoy on Wheels in Indonesia and Thailand. The company has also taken steps to allow visitors to earn Marriott Bonvoy points for their restaurant visits, and those points can be later redeemed for a stay at any Marriott property.

Finally, hotels and short-term rental properties are looking to boost their bottom line by selling retail goods such as furnishings and handcrafts, but where are they turning to for help? Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill reports a handful of standups are making it easier for hotels and short-term rentals to sell items during a guest’s stay.

O’Neill writes that startups are helping those properties manage the websites that often provide information about items on which consumers have scanned QR codes. Startups are also collaborating with consumer brands to help make their products more accessible for guests at hotels and short-term rentals. One such startup, Minoan, works with brands to help provide lodging owners volume discounts on items they want to sell guests.

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Tags: frontier airlines, loyalty, marriott, mergers and acquisitions, retail, short-term rentals, spirit takeover

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