Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Chinese and Japanese visitor numbers to the U.S., the quiet low-cost airline giant, and IndiGo's big ambitions.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, May 1. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The U.S. travel industry will likely see a full recovery in Chinese and Japanese tourism by 2026 — a year earlier than expected, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

The latest report from the U.S. National and Travel Tourism Office projects that international travel to the U.S. will fully recover in 2025. However, the office expects China and Japan to be behind the U.S.’ other source markets.  An executive at the organization cited China’s weak economy and flight restrictions as barriers to a full rebound in Chinese visitors. 

In addition, soaring airfares have deterred some Japanese travelers from visiting the U.S. 

Next, many travelers might be unaware of Volotea, but the Barcelona-based airline is holding its own in Europe’s very competitive low-cost carrier market. Volotea CEO Carlos Muñoz explained how it’s achieved success in an interview with Airlines Editor Gordon Smith.

Muñoz said Volotea is the only low-cost airline dedicated to second- and third-tier cities, adding the company has less competition than its rivals. Smith notes that Volotea has almost 450 routes, with more than half of them exclusively served by Volotea. 

Muñoz also said the pandemic drove Volotea to remove the Boeing 717 from its fleet, aircraft he described as quite costly. 

Finally, Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia takes a look at Indian carrier IndiGo’s plans to become a bigger player in the global airline industry. 

Bhutia reports that IndiGo, India’s largest airline, is looking to offer nonstop connectivity from major Indian airports to global destinations. CEO Pieter Elbers said its plans align with the government’s aim to make India a global aviation powerhouse. IndiGo recently placed its first-ever order for widebody aircraft. 

However, Elbers didn’t offer any indications about where IndiGo intends to fly next. 

Producer/Presenter: Jose Marmolejos

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Tags: china outbound, indigo, low-cost carriers, skift podcast

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