Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Hyatt's business travel optimism, JetBlue-Spirit merger spoils, and business travel spending trends.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, September 12. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Hyatt has seen signs that more workers in big cities are returning to their offices. That could result in the company eventually seeing more business travelers, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

CEO Mark Hoplamazian said at a recent conference that some of its New York hotels are seeing increased levels of local traffic, a sign of more people back in their offices. Hoplamazian added the increased traffic doesn’t necessarily mean pre-Covid levels of business travel. But he said it’s an indication of more activity in offices that will eventually boost the sector’s recovery.

Hoplamazian also expressed confidence that business travel would rebound fully. 

Next, budget carriers Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines are poised to profit significantly if U.S. authorities approve JetBlue Airways’ proposed merger with Spirit Airlines, reports Edward Russell, editor of Skift publication Airline Weekly.  

JetBlue said on Monday that Allegiant would receive Spirit’s assets at Boston Logan and Newark Airports under divestiture agreements reached by JetBlue. In addition, Frontier would gain Spirit’s assets at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Russell notes both Allegiant and Frontier could expand their operations at the above-mentioned airports. 

However, the agreements between JetBlue and Allegiant and Frontier are subject to the JetBlue-Spirit merger being approved by the U.S. government. The U.S. Justice Department has sued to block the deal on the basis of concerns about competition. 

Finally, business travel has made significant progress in its recovery, but will spending in the sector fully rebound? Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden turns to Ask Skift, our artificial intelligence chatbot, for answers.

Jordan reports that the state of business travel’s recovery varies across the world. Corporate travel volumes were reported as of August to be at least 30% below 2019 levels globally. While a majority of India-based businesses expect business travel to increase this year, executives at several U.S. and European airlines have said in recent months the sector’s rebound has plateaued. 

But the Global Business Travel Association projected last month that corporate travel spending would surpass pre-Covid levels faster than expected. The group anticipates spending will hit $1.52 trillion in 2024, two years of a previous prediction. 

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Tags: allegiant air, ask skift, corporate travel, frontier airlines, hyatt, jetblue, jetblue airways, skift podcast, spirit airlines, spirit takeover, travel spending

Photo credit: Exterior of the Hyatt Grand Central in New York City. Hyatt

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