Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at earnings at both Marriott and JetBlue, as well as the launch of Uber Travel.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, August 3 in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, is feeling pretty good about its prospects, even if the global economy does hit a rough patch later this year.

Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill reports that CEO Anthony Capuano said during his company’s second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday that the hotel giant hasn’t seen any signs of a slowdown in global lodging demand, and believes its momentum could help it withstand any choppiness later this year.

The company reported its U.S. and Canadian revenue per available room — a key industry metric — was up more than 1 percent from the same quarter in 2019. Although Marriott’s European revenue per available room was 18 percent below pre-Covid figures, the company has seen rates and occupancy levels in the region rise faster than expected. Capuano said Marriott expects its revenue per available room to increase worldwide throughout the rest of the year.

Marriott generated $678 million in net income during the second quarter.

Next, JetBlue Airways recorded a huge increase in revenue during the second quarter, but yet it managed to lose $151 million due to surging expenses. And JetBlue’s purchase of Spirit Airlines will only exacerbate its struggles to rein in costs, explains Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly.

Although JetBlue saw second quarter revenue rise 16 percent compared to 2019, its expenses also jumped 38 percent from the same period pre-Covid. While Russell notes the New York-based carrier has long struggled with surging expenses, its acquisition of Spirit presents JetBlue additional challenges. In addition to airline consolidations already being enormously expensive, Russell writes that JetBlue will give Spirit crew members — who currently earn less than their JetBlue peers — an immediate pay bump.

However, JetBlue has unveiled a plan to reduce costs. Chief Financial Officer Ursula Hurley outlined during its second quarter earnings call on Tuesday a two-year effort to cut annual expenses by $250 million through operational savings primarily.

Finally, the much-anticipated Uber Travel launches today in the United Kingdom to a limited set of customers, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

The travel service doesn’t enable travelers to book hotels and flights. But along with Uber rides it provides travelers the opportunity to book long-distance rail and bus trips licensed from Berlin-based company Omio. Omio, which began discussions with Uber last year, is the rideshare giant’s sole travel partner. Omio CEO Naren Shaam said the company licenses its rail and coach supply to Uber from more than 1,000 suppliers.

Uber plans to bring the service to all of its users worldwide by the end of August, Schaal adds.

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Tags: jetblue airways, marriott, skift podcast, uber