Good morning from Skift. It's Monday, June 6, in New York City. Here's what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast explains why American Airlines’ CEO isn’t worried about a recession, how Oklahoma tourism is looking to Bob Dylan for a boost, and why Iberia’s CEO wants to reinvent the carrier.
The U.S. economic outlook has taken a nosedive in recent weeks, sparking concerns of a recession. But American Airlines CEO Robert Isom expressed confidence that a recession wouldn’t dent the travel industry’s ongoing recovery, reports Airlines Reporter Edward Russell.
Isom said at an investor conference held by research firm Bernstein last week that he’s not worried about the impact of a possible recession, citing the pent-up demand for travel. That demand hasn’t been diminished by higher airfares, with consumers paying roughly a third more for flights this summer compared to last year. MKM Partners analyst Conor Cunningham also believes the travel industry is well-positioned to withstand the effects of a recession, stating that travel demand should remain strong even after the Labor Day holiday in September.
Isom added that American expects corporate demand to be near 2019 levels by the end of June. The carrier also improved its second quarter outlook, projecting total revenues for the period to rise between 11 and 13 percent compared to the same timeframe three years ago.
Next, Iberia is leading the recovery among carriers in its parent International Airlines Group, but CEO Javier Sánchez-Prieto is not remaining complacent despite its strong rebound, writes Airlines Reporter Russell.
Sánchez-Prieto said it’s time for the airline to invest and take some risks, and a big part of that investment, Russell writes, is expanding Iberia’s map. The Spain-based carrier launched service to Washington Dulles last week and it’s adding flights to Dallas-Fort Worth and destinations in Greece and Morocco. The new U.S. routes are a product of Iberia’s joint venture with American Airlines. But Sánchez-Prieto maintains Iberia’s long-term goal is to transform Madrid into a hub with connections in all directions and not just between Europe and the Americas.
Iberia is also targeting Asia for expansion, with Sánchez-Prieto adding that the airline hopes to resume flights to Tokyo early next year. He did not provide a timeline though for a return to Shanghai, the only other East Asian destination Iberia flew to prior to the pandemic. The airline suspended flights to both Shanghai and Tokyo in March 2020.
We end today with a look at a music scholar steeped in the career of Bob Dylan. Contributor Robert Reid profiles Mark Davidson, the director of archives and exhibits at Tulsa’s newly opened Bob Dylan Center, for this month’s At Your Service feature on the coolest jobs in travel.
Davidson describes himself as a Dylan fan but not a full-blown fanatic. However, he immediately applied for a position at the Bob Dylan Center upon seeing the job posting online in 2017. He’s worked there ever since, playing a critical role in organizing the items in the building that contains thousands of tapes, photos, letters and other items related to the musician’s life. Davidson said his position at the museum, which opened to the public on May 10, is absolutely a dream job, admitting there are times he’s amazed to be holding the original manuscript of a famous Dylan song.