Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at the latest research into U.S. travel habits, why Southwest needs more pilots, and Selina’s strong IPO.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, October 28. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Travel companies had expressed concerns throughout the summer that inflation would dent the industry’s recovery, but Skift Research’s latest U.S. Travel Tracker report reveals higher prices aren’t deterring Americans from hitting the road.

Senior Research Analyst Wouter Geerts writes that Americans have found the desire and means to continue traveling in spite of price hikes. Fifty-seven percent of Americans traveled in September, 10 percentage points higher than the same time last year. However, Geerts notes the main issue facing the travel industry is the struggling economy. Roughly two-thirds of Americans have changed their travel plans due to higher prices.

Next, Southwest Airlines generated record-setting revenue in the third quarter. But like its rivals, the Dallas-based carrier is faced with a pilot shortage that’s prevented it from running its full pre-Covid flight schedules, reports Contributor Ted Reed.

Southwest CEO Bob Jordan said on Thursday that the carrier is short on pilots to fly all of its aircraft. Pilots shortages have helped slow down the U.S. airline’s industry recovery. Jordan added that Southwest has no lack of qualified trainees but they wouldn’t be ready until late next year.

Southwest generated $6.2 billion of revenue during the third quarter, a company record. The Dallas-based carrier also recorded a net income of $277 million. Jordan said Southwest expects revenue for the fourth quarter to increase to 17 percent from 2019 levels.

We end with hospitality brand Selina finally going public on Thursday. The company, which caters to millennial travelers, saw its stock rise more than 300 percent amid ongoing turbulence in the stock market, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.

Selina debuted as a public company after completing its merger with blank check company BOA. Selina said the deal would help the company accelerate its growth. The brand’s global portfolio includes 163 properties across 25 countries. O’Neill notes Selina, which recorded a loss during the first half of 2022, may be able to keep marketing expenses relatively low by emphasizing positive word of mouth among customers.

O’Neill writes the stock market has been in a fickle mood, with central banks tightening their interest rates. However, he adds going public enables Selina to avoid having to obtain more venture capital funding as startups are having a hard time raising capital.


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