Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at hybrid cruise ships, cautious optimism in Latin American skies, and Capital One’s luxury loyalty push.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, October 19. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Cruise lines worldwide, in an attempt to operate more sustainably, have turned to biofuels in place of fossil fuels. But Norway-based cruise and shipping company Hurtigruten Group has gone further, running hybrid-powered cruise ships. While electric cars and now airplanes dominate the news of the technology in travel, Hurtigruten’s leadership is a welcome sign for a cruise industry that often finds itself in the crosshairs of environmentalists, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldman said in an exclusive interview with Skift that sustainability is important for both its guests and the regions it operates in. The company launched the world’s first battery hybrid-powered cruise ship in 2019. Skjeldman added the Hurtigruten Group is focused on sustainability because its sailings have historically been around both North and South Poles, where he said the effects of climate change are visible.

Skjeldman also said the company aims to have a zero emission ship sailing in 2030, adding that electric energy will help the Hurtigruten Group accomplish its goal.

Next, Latin American airline executives are optimistic that the region will continue to see strong travel demand. But they’re more worried about economic uncertainty than global airline executives elsewhere in the world, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

As passenger traffic in Latin America led the global recovery in August, airline executives largely said at a conference this week in Buenos Aires they’re seeing a surge in bookings. Passenger numbers in August for Latin America’s domestic markets combined were down just 4 percent from pre-Covid levels. However, Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Panama’s Copa Airlines, admitted the region is facing the prospect of economic turbulence. Russell notes global oil prices have remained high after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Finally, as more banks are digging deeper into travel, Capital One is staking its claim as a major player in the industry. The company is planning to introduce 10-times rewards for bookings in its travel portal’s new luxury hotel collection, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Travelers owning a Capital One Venture X card will be able to earn the reward — 10x miles per dollar — through booking stays at properties in Capital One Travel’s Premier Collection. The credit card company is planning to launch the collection, which would include hotels bookable through Capital One Travel, by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Capital One has unveiled plans to partner with the José Andrés Group, the company behind the award-winning chef, to open airport lounges. The first two lounges are slated to open at Reagan National Airport and LaGuardia Airport.


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Tags: capital one, climate change, copa airlines, hurtigruten, skift podcast

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