Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Oyo's wished-for IPO, Context Travel's pre-tour homework, and Delta and Air France/KLM's sustainability efforts.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, November 29. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

India-based budget hotel operator and online travel company Oyo hopes to proceed with plans to go public next year, although it almost certainly won’t get its once-hoped-for valuation of $12 billion, reports Asia Editor Peden Bhutia.

Oyo looks to launch its initial public offering around the fiscal first quarter of 2023, which runs from April to June. The company has recently submitted updated financial figures containing results from the first half of its financial year to Indian authorities as part of the process for going public. Oyo recorded a $40 million net loss during the period.

Although Oyo had originally sought a valuation of roughly $12 billion, Bhutia writes that Softbank Group, Oyo’s largest investor, reportedly cut Oyo’s already diminished valuation by more than 20 percent in late September. The valuation could end up being around $6.5 billion.

Oyo had originally planned to raise around $1.1 billion through the initial public offering.

Next, many travel companies launched virtual tours during the early stages of the pandemic, but subsequently shut them down. But tour operator Context Travel is going a step further, developing pre-trip virtual educational sessions that it believes will build customer engagement, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Selene Brophy.

The company has created Context Learning, a virtual experience product that provides online seminars with experts before and after day tours. Context Learning enables customers to connect with experts periodically instead of only booking tours and activities once or twice per year. Context Travel founder Paul Bennett said travelers could, for example, take a mini-course to meet the archaeologist hosting an archaeological deep dive prior to departure.

Context Travel CEO June Chin-Ramsey said the company saw a 10 percent increase in revenue from virtual experiences during the spring and summer of this year.

Finally, sustainability was one of the major topics addressed at the recent Skift Aviation Forum in Dallas, and two airline industry leaders and a consultant discussed how flying can be greener, a major issue for aviation, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.

Editor-in-Chief Tom Lowry, the discussion’s moderator, said an audience poll found only 37 percent believe the airline industry can meet its long-term climate goals. The three panelists acknowledged the challenges airlines face in flying sustainably. However, Danielle Bozarth, senior partner at consulting firm McKinsey, expressed optimism that the industry would benefit from innovation making flying greener.

Meanwhile, Amelia DeLuca, Delta Air Lines’ vice president of sustainability, said she believes that there are major airlines which will achieve their goals of net zero carbon emissions. In addition, Marion Chivot-Legris, Air France-KLM’s head of sustainability in North America, noted that hydrogen-powered aircraft could be a promising technological solution. But she acknowledged it wouldn’t be delivered to airlines until 2035.

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Tags: air france-klm, delta air lines, ipo, oyo, skift podcast

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