Today's podcast looks at Alaska's huge financial hit, Oracle's new hotel tech, and IHG's Americas ambitions.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, January 26. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Alaska Airlines said it would take a $150 million financial hit from the Boeing 737 Max 9 grounding that prompted the airline to cancel roughly 3,000 flights, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi.
Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci said during its fourth-quarter earnings call that the company would put pressure on Boeing to produce better planes. Minicucci told NBC News this week he was angry at Boeing for the blowout aboard an Alaska flight earlier this month. He did express optimism that consumer confidence in the Max 9 would eventually come back.
Alaska posted a $2 million net loss during the fourth quarter.
Next, Oracle Hospitality, one of the largest players in hotel tech, is selling what it considers a simplified system for hotel tech operations, writes Travel Technology Reporter Justin Dawes.
Dawes reports Stockholm-based Scandic Hotels Group is already piloting an expanded version of Oracle Hospitality’s cloud-based system. The system, known as Opera Cloud Central, includes a property management system, central reservation system and distribution services on a single platform. Dawes adds that using a single system removes the need to transfer information between systems.
An Oracle Hospitality executive said the company believes it will disrupt the traditional hospitality ecosystem.
Finally, Jolyon Bulley, IHG’s CEO of the Americas, aims to grow the group’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio at what he calls ‘China speed,” writes Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Bulley, IHG’s former CEO for Greater China, said in an interview with Skift he sees potential for growth in the Americas. IHG’s luxury and lifestyle brands represent 22% of its global hotel development pipeline, roughly double the figure from five years ago. Burley also expressed optimism he could use lessons from China, where IHG’s portfolio has doubled over the past five years, to guide the expansion in the Americas.
However, O’Neill notes that one obstacle to growth is IHG doesn’t have a great reputation among hotel owners for luxury in the Americas.
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Photo credit: Five Alaska Airlines planes lined up on the tarmac. Alaska Airlines