Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at hotel environmental performance, U.S. airline labor struggles, and infrastructure needs at Middle East airports.
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, March 29. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Hotel companies have gotten better in recent years at reporting their environmental performances amid their push to reduce carbon emissions. However, Skift Research’s latest report reveals hotel brands still have blind spots in their reporting, especially the performance of their franchised hotels.
Skift Research investigated the environmental performance of the world’s six largest hotel companies. Senior Research Analyst Wouter Geerts writes all companies need to do a better job of measuring and reporting their so-called scope 3 emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions are divided into three scopes, and scope 3 includes emissions from franchised hotels.
Geerts notes that some companies have more comprehensive scope 3 coverage than others. Wyndham, the largest franchise holder of the companies Skift Research investigated, has very little scope 3 reporting. Prominent hotel brands have increasingly turned to franchising to help grow their portfolios.
Next, major U.S. airlines are still struggling to make a complete recovery coming out of the pandemic. United Airlines and American Airlines are cutting flights due to issues such as pilot shortages and aircraft delivery delays, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.
United cited a pilot shortage as the reason it’s ending flights to Erie, Pennsylvania in June. Russell notes that’s a well-documented problem primarily affecting regional carriers. He adds that ongoing aircraft delivery delays have also made scheduling flights difficult. American suspended flights between Philadelphia and Madrid in May and Jue due to late deliveries of Boeing 787 jets.
Russell also writes the reduced flight schedules don’t come as a surprise, with Airbus and Boeing having consistently delivered planes late since last year.
Finally, airports across the Middle East need an enormous amount of infrastructure improvement to help meet the rising demand for air travel. How much? $151 billion, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia in this week’s Middle East Travel Roundup newsletter.
The push to improve the region’s aviation infrastructure comes as Middle East airports are expected to handle more than 1 billion passengers by 2040. That’s up from 405 million in 2019. Bhutia writes that several countries around the Middle East have already unveiled massive airport projects, including Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials are planning to build one of the world’s largest airports.
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