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News and tidbits from the travel industry

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‘Travel is coming back,’ says Airbnb, as it beats revenue estimates in first earnings

We will see a shift from mass travel to meaningful travel. And with more people working from home, there will be more flexibility around where and when they travel.Airbnb

Airbnb files to go public: Here’s what it says are its 6 biggest risk factors

Before the pandemic, Airbnb was valued at more than $30 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable startups. The company laid off about 25% of its staff in May and has since emphasized its focus on local travel. The IPO filing comes as COVID-19 infections are increasing in some of the company’s hottest markets in the U.S. and Europe, underpinning the extent to which Airbnb’s future is dependent upon the effectiveness and successful distribution of a vaccine.Christopher Zara (Fast Company)

The travel industry will survive COVID-19, but with big changes

It’s clear that the lower-priced chains—the economy, budget, and midscale hotels—are doing better. Some of that is locational: A lot of those hotels are at airports, around airports, and on the interstates, so that means that they’re accommodating people who are moving around. But over the next six- to 12-month period, you’re going to see a bit of a barbell recovery, where lower-tier, lower-price hotels will be doing well, and then you will have luxury hotels doing well once air travel starts to free up a little bit.Mark Hoplamazian (Hyatt Hotels)

Layoffs loom this week for more than 6,700 Boeing employees

In a memo to employees, CEO Dave Calhoun said the company has completed its “voluntary” staff cuts and would now begin laying people off involuntarily. Some 6,770 affected U.S. workers will be notified this week, Calhoun says, in what is expected to be the first of multiple rounds of staff reductions.Christopher Zara (Fast Company)

Embattled Boeing enjoys skyrocketing stock price despite devastating revenue losses

Boeing unveiled plans to pare back production in line with demand, which would reduce its monthly output of 787 Dreamliners from 14 to 7 in the next two years, and 777 twin-jets from 5 to 3 per month in the next year. For its 737 Max, formerly Boeing’s best-selling airplane, it’s targeting a “gradual increase to 31 per month” following the restart of production, which is reportedly slated for mid-2020. Boeing also said it would eliminate 10% of its jobs, roughly 16,000 positions, through buyouts, attrition, voluntary layoffs, and involuntary layoffs.Connie Lin (Fast Company)

Google Flights, increasingly dominant, sends ‘dramatic’ surge to American Airlines and Delta

Airlines and hotel booking websites saw a significant surge in referral traffic from the search giant in 2019, according to new data from SimilarWeb. The increase underscores the extent to which Google services are becoming further embedded into every aspect of the travel ecosphere, from initial searches on through to the booking process. Search referral traffic is an important metric for hotel and airline websites because it can lead to more “conversions”—industry-speak for website visitors taking some kind of action, like actually buying things.Christopher Zara (Fast Company)

Boeing’s deadly and fiscally disastrous year ends with an ousted CEO

The Boeing Company ended a deadly and fiscally disastrous year with a reroute of its leadership. The aerospace manufacturer released a statement this morning saying that CEO Dennis Muilenburg has resigned and that David Calhoun, who is the current chairman, will take over as CEO and president on January 13, 2020.Arianne Cohen (Fast Company)

The world’s first combination ski slope-power plant is finally open

This ambitious public infrastructure project boasts furnaces and turbines that convert 440,000 tons of waste into clean energy each year—enough to provide 150,000 homes with electricity and heating. All of this is held beneath the 107,639-square-foot green roof (which absorbs heat, removes air particles, and minimizes stormwater runoff). This biodiverse landscape doubles as a sporty architectural rooftop with 96,875 square feet of artificial ski terrain—the same length as an Olympic half-pipe. Visitors can reach this dynamic roof, which also includes slopes for beginning skiers and freestylers, by ascending on either a platter lift or a glass elevator—both of which run alongside the gilded, 24-hour plant within.Evan Nicole Brown (Fast Company)

United Airlines is canceling 45 flights a day due to Boeing’s ill-fated 737 Max planes

United Airlines’ fleet of Boeing 737 Max planes will remain grounded until November 3, ensuring that more than 8,000 flights will be canceled. That’s 45 flights per day this month, a number that’s expected to rise to 95 per day in October, per the Associated Press. […] Meanwhile, Boeing’s 737 project manager is planning to retire after just one year in the post, according to CNBC. The turbulence is apparently taking its toll.Claire Miller (Fast Company)

Airbnb launches Adventures, its foray into extreme tours

The adventure industry has also undergone something of a makeover in recent years, making it more approachable. The word “adventure” used to be associated with skydiving and cliff jumping. Now it refers to hikes, food tours, and yoga retreats under the umbrella of cultural immersion.Ruth Reader (Fast Company)

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