Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at short-term rental growth, Google’s airline emissions efforts, and Emirates’ first class bet.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, June 8. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The short-term rental industry has experienced a major boom coming out of the pandemic. But Laurence Tosi, founder of investment firm WestCap, believes the sector’s enormous growth is slowing down, reports Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden. 

Tosi said that future growth for travel will moderate during a discussion at the Skift Short-Term Rental Summit on Wednesday. He also told Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali that companies like Sonder and Vacasa aiming to become profitable need to focus on having sustainable business models. 

Tosi also touched on the rise of artificial intelligence in travel, urging travel brands to proceed carefully with how they use the technology. He cited Hopper as one company that has used AI extensively. 

Next, several airlines are removing first class seats from long-haul international routes. However, Emirates Airlines isn’t getting rid of the luxury offering, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift publication. 

Emirates President Tim Clark said at a conference in Istanbul this week that long-haul first class is very important for the company. He added that more than 80 percent of its long-haul aircraft has first class seats. However, Russell notes that long-haul first class is a gradually disappearing product. Indeed, Qatar Airways recently announced that it wouldn’t install first class on its future long-haul jets. Russell adds that airlines increasingly believe  the necessary investment in the product isn’t often worth the cost. 

But some carriers have unveiled plans for first class seats on their longest flights, including Qantas Airways and Lufthansa. Russell writes those investments are driven in part by the increase in premium leisure travelers coming out of the pandemic. 

Finally, the European Union and Google are teaming up to create a reliable measurement for flying’s climate impact, which has long been challenging for the travel industry, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency and Google announced on Wednesday they are teaming up to develop a framework for measuring a flight’s emissions impact. Schaal writes that finding accurate measurements has been a thorny issue because the science is inexact. He adds the collaboration will help Google and partners develop its Travel Impact Model, a publicly accessible model for measuring flight emissions per passenger. 

The Lufthansa Group has agreed to provide data for the emissions calculations. An executive at the safety agency said he believes the information will help travelers determine which flights may be more environmentally friendly.  

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Tags: climate change, emirates airlines, european union, long-haul flights, skift podcast, skift short-term rental summit, sustainability

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