Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Cathay's earnings, U.S. visa waits in India, and a new Spanish hotel.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, June 26. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific said on Friday it expects to turn a profit in the first half of 2023 after years of losses. But the company’s slow recovery is a concern in the airline industry, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift publication.

Cathay Pacific’s expected profit comes after it posted a roughly $320 million dollar loss in the first half of last year. Russell writes Cathay Pacific was hit hard by the Hong Kong government’s strict Covid-era travel curbs, most of which were only lifted last December. Those restrictions severely limited Cathay Pacific, an airline with no domestic market to serve. 

Although Cathay Pacific has seen a surge in travel demand, Russell adds it still lags behind regional rival Singapore Airlines. He notes that Singapore Airlines used the pandemic to accelerate plans to streamline its operations while Cathay Pacific is still focused on rebuilding its network. 

Next, the U.S. has unveiled plans to open consulates in the Indian cities Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. U.S. officials believe those consulates could help expedite the visa application process for Indian travelers, writes Middle East and Asia Reporter Amrita Ghosh.

Ghosh reports visa delays represent the single biggest impediment to growth in travel between the U.S. and India, with India emerging as the U.S.’ second-largest visitor source market outside of North America. U.S. lawmakers have urged the Biden administration to tackle the issue of lengthy visa wait times. There has been some improvement: Wait times for visitor visas at some U.S. consulates in India have recently decreased in half, from more than 600 days. 

Finally, the owners of the Spain-based Hotel Finca Cortesín have opened a new property located inside a 17th century palace, reports Contributor Leslie Barrie.

Barrie notes the Mallorca-based Gran Hotel Son Net is the second hotel venture from the team behind the Finca Cortesín. Finca Cortesín Hotels Managing Director Rene Zimmer is adamant the new property isn’t a boutique hotel or resort. But Zimmer said it will have plenty of local touches, including serving mostly Mallorcan wine and food grown on the island. Barrie writes the Gran Hotel Son Net’s staff believes its focus on local themes will resonate with guests. 

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Tags: cathay pacific, hong kong, hotels, india, skift podcast, spain

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