Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at IHG’s new brand, Booking Holding’s European concessions, and a JetBlue-Spirit Air timeline.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, August 17. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
IHG has launched its 19th brand, called Garner, an IHG hotel, as part of its strategy to target mid-market travelers, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
O’Neill writes Garner aims to be more affordable for travelers than IHG’s other brands targeting this segment. The company expects to open more than 1,000 hotels under the Garner brand over the next two decades. O’Neill adds that until the launch of Garner, IHG didn’t have a brand that fit this price range. An added attraction: Garner will allow guests to bring pets into their rooms.
Next, Booking Holdings is proposing concessions for an issue threatening European Commission regulatory approval of its deal to acquire flight tech company eTraveli Group. Booking’s plan is to show hotels from competitors when travelers book a flight, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.
Schaal writes European regulators are balking at approving the roughly $2 billion deal because they think it would strengthen Booking’s leading hotel business on the continent. As for a potential solution, Booking could use sister brand Kayak to offer choices from rival online travel agencies or the hotels themselves. Schaal adds such a scenario could also bolster the company’s already market-shaping hotels business.
The European Commission is expected to make a decision on the deal by August 30.
Finally, the proposed merger of JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines has been one of travel’s most watched developments over the past year. Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden provides a timeline of the planned deal poised to shake up the U.S. airline industry.
Jorden lists the major twists and turns in the proposed JetBlue-Spirit deal by the month they occurred, which includes Spirit’s initial plans to merge with Frontier Airlines and JetBlue’s repeated attempts to acquire Spirit. The timeline also details the U.S. Department of Justice’s quest to block the JetBlue-Spirit merger, citing concerns the deal would reduce competition and raise airfares. The department’s lawsuit to thwart the proposed merger will go on trial this October.
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Photo credit: Rendering of a Garner property. IHG