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Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

IDEAS: Oman Air Introduces Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plastic Cabin Packaging

11 months ago

Oman Air has introduced a new initiative across its fleet, which sees the plastic used to wrap passenger blankets and mattresses in its premium cabins replaced with an friendly, paper-based alternative.

Credit: Oman Air

The introduction of the paper bands will result in a reduction of up to 21.6 ton of plastic per year, according to a release from the carrier.

“In a concerted effort guided by our in-house experts and bolstered by collaborations with partners and vendors, we have successfully achieved another milestone in our sustainability efforts. This pivotal step aligns seamlessly with our corporate strategy to reduce waste and choose more environmentally friendly products, reflecting our commitment to national sustainability goals,” said Captain Nasser bin Ahmed Salmi, acting chief executive officer at Oman Air.

The initiative forms part of a wider initiative for Oman Air, as it aims to phase out the use of single-use plastics on board its aircrafts, including plastic sleeves used to load cutlery and reducing plastic water bottles and cuplets by up to 50% on certain routes. In 2023, it has also replaced 80% of its in-flight service carts with lightweight alternatives, providing a considerable boost to fuel efficiency.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Boom Supersonic Completes Key Milestone in Journey Towards First Flight

11 months ago

Boom Supersonic, the company building the world’s fastest airliner, Overture, has completed several key milestones with its technology demonstrator aircraft, the XB-1.

Credit: Boom Supersonic

The XB-1 aircraft is playing a vital role in enabling the development of the Overture aircraft, which is a sustainable supersonic airliner that has been designed to fly at Mach 1.7 and run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel. 

Boom Supersonic announced last week that the demonstrator aircraft had completed its first round of taxi testing, in addition to extensive ground testing since moving to the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California earlier this year.

You can take a look at a video released showcasing the ground test below:

“The recent progress made towards XB-1’s first flight reflects the team’s collective efforts to build and safely fly the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet,” said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO at Boom Supersonic. 

The supersonic demonstrator ‘leverages 60 years of progress in airplane technologies like carbon fiber composites, advanced avionics, and digitally-optimized aerodynamics to enable sustainable supersonic travel,’ according to a release from the company.

In addition to the ongoing testing, XB-1 recently received an experimental airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and letters of authorization have been awarded to allow Chief Test Pilot Bill “Doc” Shoemaker and test pilot Tristan “Gepetto” Brandenburg to fly XB-1 over the Mojave desert.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: British Airways Doubles Its Inflight Media Offerings

12 months ago

Recognizing the demands of consumers to have more options while in the air, British Airways has doubled the amount of content available to watch through its inflight entertainment system since the beginning of the year, according to an announcement from the carrier.

The inflight entertainment system has benefitted from a range of new media, with the carrier now offering a host of new boxsets, movies, podcasts and children’s programs, as well as a exclusive content thanks to its partnership with Paramount+.

British Airways has stated that the new content will be on board from August.

Credit: British Airways

The carrier has also been rolling out WiFi connectivity across its entire fleet, with the majority of its aircraft now connected, enabling content streaming on personal devices.

British Airways’ chief customer officer, Calum Laming, said: “We know just how important it is to provide a great range of entertainment for our customers to enjoy during their journeys, and it’s one of the things they look forward to most when they fly with us, so we’ve been working hard to source new content, doubling the amount available at our customers’ fingertips.

“We’ve partnered with brilliant brands like Paramount+ and even created a dedicated British Original channel. From a newly released blockbuster film to the latest podcast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during their flight this summer.”

Related: 5 Missed Opportunities for Better In-Flight Entertainment


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: United Partners with Venus Williams-Backed Brand to Revamp Amenity Kits

12 months ago

Travelers flying with United Business will now be provided with new amenity kits featuring exclusive products from Asutra, the Venus Williams backed wellness brand. 

Credit: United Airlines

The new amenity kits – which will be offered on United’s premium transcontinental domestic routes – feature cruelty-free skincare that is devoid of parabens, phthalates, or petroleum, and includes a cleansing face towelette, lip balm and hand lotion. Each kit is provided in a reusable Asutra pouch – which contains a bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, and earplugs – with the pouch and eye mask made from recycled materials.

“As a women-owned, Chicago-based company, we are thrilled to partner with our hometown airline, United Airlines. Our mission at Asutra is to make self-care a possibility for everyone through accessible wellness products,” said Stephanie Morimoto, Asutra owner and CEO.

“From personal experience, I know that taking care of yourself intentionally while traveling can be challenging. This new amenity kit gives travelers an easy, enjoyable way to take care of themselves while on their journey and arrive refreshed.”

These new amenity kits are another enhancement to United’s premium cabins, following the launch of its new United First seats last month.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: United’s New Domestic First-Class Seat Designs

1 year ago

United has revealed its United First seat, marking the first update to a domestic first class seat design from the airline since 2015.

The seat, which features a wireless charging station in every arm rest, vegan leather upholstery, 13-inch seatback screens and 18-inch tray tables, is set to make its debut on the airline’s Boeing 737 this month, with the seat expected to be introduced on 200 planes across the fleet by 2026. 

Credit: United Airlines

The new seat joins a line of recently announced seat upgrades as airlines vie for the attention of travelers.

“This new United First seat is designed around the modern traveler – more charging options, bigger spaces for devices, food, drinks and personal items and extra privacy,” said Mark Muren, managing director of identity, product and loyalty at United.

 “As we evolve the onboard experience, we’re upending old industry norms and anticipating future needs to accommodate the new ways people live and travel.”

The airline is also planning on updating its existing offering on planes that will not get the new seat with new seat cushions, vegan leather upholstery and winged headrests.


At Skift, we are looking to unearth the most creative and forward-thinking innovations in travel through our Skift Ideas Franchise, which includes the Skift IDEA Awards, Skift Editorial Hub and the Skift Ideas Podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: KLM Unveils New Lightweight Business Class Seats

1 year ago

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has unveiled its new World Business Class Seats for its Boeing 777 aircraft. 

The new seats have been designed in collaboration with JAMCO, who the carrier previously worked with on the ‘Venture’ seats featured on the KLM 787 fleet.

Credit: KLM

The upgraded World Business Class seats will offer direct aisle access to all passengers, with each seat also equipped with a sliding door for enhanced privacy. The new offering will also provide additional features such as a lower back-massage function, adjustable lower-back support, multiple charging options, and the ability to fully recline into a comfortable bed.

Credit: KLM

According to the carrier, the new seats are also 10-15% lighter than comparable business class seats, aligning with KLM’s sustainability goals.

Credit: KLM

“Based on extensive customer and competitor research, we improved our World Business Class seats to ensure that customers have more privacy and comfort during their flight. The new seats are better in terms of design, technology and sustainability features. KLM meets a wide array of its passengers’ wishes with the new seats in World Business Class, Premium Comfort, Economy Comfort and Economy Class. We are delighted to offer these new products and related services to our customers worldwide,” said Boet Kreiken, EVP customer experience, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Credit: KLM

KLM’s entire Boeing 777-300 and 200 fleet are set to be fitted out with the new Business Class seats, with the full revamp to be completed during the course of the coming year.


At Skift, we are looking to unearth the most creative and forward-thinking innovations in travel through our Skift Ideas Franchise, which includes the Skift IDEA Awards, Skift Editorial Hub and the Skift Ideas Podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Ideas

IDEAS: In-Flight Entertainment Gets a 4K Upgrade

1 year ago

Panasonic Avionics has introduced a range of new 4K OLED monitors for First and Business Class cabins, with United having recently announced that they plan to install the system on select new long haul aircrafts beginning in 2025.

Credit: Panasonic Avionics

The new monitors, which form part of the Astrova In-flight entertainment (IFE) lineup, come in a choice of five sizes maxing out at 42 inches, and also feature spatial audio powered by Panasonic Avionics’ latest Bluetooth technology.

Credit: Panasonic Avionics

Passengers on aircraft equipped with the new system will also be provided with up to 100W of DC power at their seat through USB-C, along with LED accent lighting designed to enhance the passenger experience and optimize the cabin environment.

Credit: Panasonic Avionics

“Astrova is transforming the seat back into an easily configured, flexible and personalized digital channel that caters to the individual needs of each passenger, enabling airlines to engage with their customers in flight like never before,” said Andy Masson, vice president of product management at Panasonic Avionics.


At Skift, we are looking to unearth the most creative and forward-thinking innovations in travel through our Skift Ideas Franchise, which includes the Skift IDEA Awards, Skift Editorial Hub and the Skift Ideas Podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Air New Zealand Reveals More Details on its Long-Haul Bunkbeds

1 year ago

Air New Zealand has revealed further details around its new Skynest product, which is set to be available on ultra-long haul flights from September 2024, according to the airline.

The unique six-pod configured sleep zone will offer economy and premium economy fliers the chance to lie down and rest during long-haul flights, adding ‘more flexibility to the economy travel experience’.

Credit: Air New Zealand

Each pod is set to include all of the essentials required for a restful sleep, including a pillow, blanket and ear plugs, along with a USB port, ambient lighting and a privacy curtain.

Credit: Air New Zealand

“Our 83-year history is marked by a commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. SkyNest is the latest example, and we’re proud to be leading the way with this world-first cabin feature,” said Air New Zealand’s chief customer and sales officer, Leanne Geraghty.

“We’re delighted that customers are as excited about this new innovation as we are. Our extensive research and design process, which spanned five years and 170,000 hours, has resulted in a product that we’re confident will revolutionize the in-flight experience for Economy passengers,” she continued.

With prices looking to start at around $400 for a 4-hour period, it seems that the luxury of laying down during your flight may no longer be reserved for only First and Business Class fliers.


We are looking for the innovations that are transforming the world of aviation, airlines, and the traveler experience.

If you have an exciting project that deserves to be celebrated, head over to the Skift IDEA Awards and tell us all about it.

Airlines

IDEAS: JetBlue to Offer Non-Alcoholic Beer on Flights, a U.S. First

1 year ago

JetBlue is set to become the first major U.S. airline to sell non-alcoholic beer during domestic flights thanks to a new partnership with Athletic Brewing Company. 

From May 2023, JetBlue flyers will be able to purchase Athletic Brewing’s non-alcoholic offering ‘Upside Dawn’ at 35,000 feet, aligning with JetBlue’s continued commitment to provide customers with ‘high-quality, delicious food and beverage offerings for diverse palates’.

Instagram: Athletic Brewing Company

The non-alcoholic drinks market is booming, with the IWSR reporting that the no/low alcohol product market surpassed a value of $11billion in 2022. Furthermore, a study from NCSolutions showed that one in three Americans are trying to consume less alcohol in 2023, so JetBlue is right on time with this new offering.

Credit: Athletic Brewing Company

“In our continued effort to provide customers with an onboard experience customized to their needs and preferences, JetBlue is proud to be the first major U.S. airline to serve non-alcoholic beer,” said Mariya Stoyanova, director of product development, JetBlue.

“We’re thrilled to partner with industry leader Athletic Brewing to offer our customers the refreshing, balanced taste of a classic craft Golden without the alcohol.”


At the 2023 Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking to highlight the projects that are defining the future of aviation, airlines, and the traveler experience.

If you have an exciting initiative that deserves to be celebrated, head over to the Skift IDEA Awards and start your application today.

Airlines

IDEAS: flydubai Redesigns Their Single-Aisle Business Class Experience

1 year ago

flydubai has unveiled the latest evolution in its premium business class offering, ‘The Business suite’, which is set to be introduced on select flights within its network.

The Dubai-based carrier is the launch customer for this brand-new seat, having worked in close collaboration with Safran Seats, a leading manufacturer of aircraft seats and JPA Design, a design company operating in the transportation, interiors, and product design arenas.

Credit: flydubai

Announced at the 2023 Arabian Travel Market, the first aircraft featuring the new Business Suite is expected in November, with flydubai anticipating the new offering being available on up to six aircraft by the first quarter of 2024.

The new suites have been designed exclusively for single-aisle aircraft, and will allow direct aisle access for every passenger, providing guests the option to have a fully-closed suite experience or a more traditional open plan seat. The new pods will also feature discreet stowage solutions, ambient lighting and an increased on-board entertainment package.

“flydubai is committed to exceeding expectations. Our business and product offerings have evolved from the initial no-frills model over the past 14 years to cater to the ever-growing needs of our customers and the markets we operate to,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer at flydubai.

“We have come a long way since the introduction of our first Business Class offering in 2013, which has served us well… we are proud to unveil a new premium product which rivals the Business Class experience offered by many airlines on wide-body aircraft. We will continue to invest in innovation to enhance the customer experience across our growing fleet.”


At the 2023 Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for the projects defining the future of aviation, airlines, and the traveler experience.

If you have an exciting initiative to share, head over to the Skift IDEA Awards and start your submission today!