Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Boeing’s bolt-less door plugs, Frontier’s path to more profitability, and Chinese travelers cooling on Europe.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, February 7. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board has provided information about what possibly caused the January blowout aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. Four bolts appeared to be missing on a door plug that blew off that Boeing 737 Max 9 jet, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

Maharishi notes it’s not exactly clear how the four bolts meant to keep the door plug intact went missing. The board said it plans to interview Boeing and aircraft supplier Spirit Aerosystems. The report said the door plug Spirit delivered to Boeing last August had come with certain defects.  

Next, U.S.’ low-cost carriers have generally struggled in recent years. But Frontier Airlines believes its new three-point plan can help boost profitability, writes Airlines Editor Gordon Smith. 

Smith notes that Frontier is planning to thoroughly overhaul its network, with fewer flights to oversaturated markets such as Las Vegas and Orlando. Frontier is also looking to increase service to more lucrative destinations where it aims to charge higher fares.

The second part of Frontier’s three-point plan is a new product called “BizFare,” which would enable businesses to save on corporate travel expenses. In addition, Frontier is unveiling a revamped website and app, which the company hopes will help boost sales on its platforms. 

Finally, Chinese travelers are showing less interest in visiting Europe this year, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

A survey by the European Travel Commission found roughly 57% of Chinese travelers plan to travel to Europe in 2024. That’s a 14 percentage point drop from last year. Habtemariam notes one reason for the drop is Chinese travelers’ growing desire to explore locations closer to home, with several Asian destinations easing their visa policies. 

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Tags: alaska airlines, Boeing 737, china outbound, frontier airlines, ntsb, skift podcast

Photo credit: Tourists in front of part of the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum in central London. Flora Clampet / Skift

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