Good morning from Skift. It's Monday, May 16, in New York City. Here's what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.
Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast explains why some major brands are falling short on carbon emissions promises, what Morocco’s marketing it challenged by current realities, and how the U.S. Senate may address the airline pilot shortage.
Dozens of major corporations have vowed in recent years to significantly reduce carbon emissions from business travel. But a new report heavily criticizes tech giants Microsoft, Google and Facebook, among others, for a lack of commitment to cutting emissions, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.
The report — compiled by environmental campaigners Transport & Environment and Stand.earth — rated 230 global companies on their efforts to decrease carbon emissions from business travel. Only 3 percent of those corporations, the authors believe, are fully committed to reducing emissions. Companies were ranked on nine factors related to emission reduction targets and the reporting of air travel emissions — with the highest ranking corporations earning an A score and the lowest ranking ones earning a D. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft each earned a D for what the campaigners said was a failure to make meaningful commitments to decrease corporate air travel.
But Parsons writes the ranking places a misguided focus on 2019 travel volumes, which occurred prior to global corporations developing initiatives over the past two years to cut down on business trips in the future.
Next, Morocco’s tourism executives have launched a campaign depicting the country as a modern and adventurous destination. But the North African nation’s strict Covid protocols could stymie its recovery, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.
The country’s Kingdom of Light campaign is part of Morocco’s plan to strengthen its position as a major player on the world luxury map. It also marks a notable shift from the popular culinary and handicraft narrative the country has long pushed to prospective visitors. One travel executive said Morocco has suffered for many years due to its image as a low-budget destination, adding the campaign targets more affluent travelers who may stay longer and spend more in the country.
However, Bhutia writes the campaign may not succeed in helping Morocco hit its pre-pandemic tourist arrival figures, with its Covid protocols serving as a deterrent to tourists. Morocco requires travelers coming by air to test negative for Covid within 48 hours of their departure and immediately upon arrival. Visitors may also be randomly selected for an additional PCR test during their stay in the country.
Finally, as the U.S. is grappling with an ongoing pilot shortage, Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina may introduce legislation that would raise the retirement age for U.S. commercial airline pilots by two years, writes Airlines Reporter Edward Russell.
Russell reports that two people familiar with the proposed legislation confirmed that Graham is working to build support among his colleagues in Congress prior to introducing the bill. Commercial airline pilots currently must retire at the age of 65, a requirement Congress established in 2007.
However, raising the retirement age would only serve as a short-term fix to a pilot shortage that is not expected to ease until 2023 at the earliest. The shortage has already forced regional carriers such as Mesa Airlines and SkyWest Airlines to cancel flights.