Airbnb’s New Acquisition and 9 Other Hospitality Trends This Week


An Airbnb in Austin. The homesharing platform recently acquired French company Luckey Homes. Airbnb

Skift Take: This week in hospitality, we have three stories on Airbnb’s global doings. The homesharing platform acquired French company Luckey Homes, helped form a vacation rental association in Japan, and settled a lawsuit in Miami.

— Sarah Enelow-Snyder

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What LVMH’s Belmond Buy Means for the Future of Luxury Travel


Luxury conglomerate LVMH is buying Belmond’s portfolio of luxury hotels, trains, cruises, and restaurants for $2.6 billion. Belmond

Skift Take: LVMH might not have been the most obvious of suitors for Belmond’s luxury assets, but now that it’s close to owning them, it’s a deal that makes a lot of sense in this post-experience economy still contending with the concept of new luxury.

— Deanna Ting

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Louis Vuitton Owner to Buy Luxury Travel Brand Belmond for $2.6 Billion


The Belmond Hotel Splendido is just one of many luxury properties that are a part of Belmond. On Friday, luxury company LVMH confirmed it is buying Belmond for $2.6 billion. Belmond

Skift Take: This acquisition is further proof that the experience economy is far from dead, and that even self-proclaimed purveyors and “world leaders in high-quality products” understand the importance of luxury experiences in this increasingly evolving and changing luxury market.

— Deanna Ting

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New Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier Swoops Into Canada


WestJet has created a new ultra-low-cost-carrier called Swoop. This is one of its Boeing 737-800s. Swoop

Skift Take: Canada’s newest airline, Swoop, is now up and running with some of the lowest base fares in Canada. While an important milestone, the larger focus continues to be on WestJet’s challenging financial year and ability to execute several big projects at once.

— Kristin Majcher

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Virgin Atlantic Pilots Are Extending Their Holiday Season Strikes

Simon Dawson / Bloomberg

A breakaway union of Virgin Atlantic pilots that called strikes during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays extended the job action to the first eight weekends of 2019, according to an emailed statement. Simon Dawson / Bloomberg

Skift Take: It doesn’t matter that this is only a third or so of pilots: Consumers don’t know the difference. It’s good news for their competitors.

— Jason Clampet

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Air France’s First Female CEO and 11 Other Aviation Trends This Week

Air France

An Air France 777-300. The carrier just appointed a new female CEO: Anne Rigail. Air France

Skift Take: This week in aviation, Anne Rigail will be the new CEO of Air France, an extremely rare appointment in a particularly male-dominated industry. Then we have stories about electronic searches at customs, Real IDs, and how artificial intelligence helps airline news go viral.

— Sarah Enelow-Snyder

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Virgin Galactic Clears a Hurdle in Space Tourism Race

Matt Hartman / Associated Press

Virgin Galactic reaches space for the first time during its fourth powered flight from Mojave, California. Matt Hartman / Associated Press

Skift Take: Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s private space company, scored a long-elusive win this week with a successful trip to the edge of space. Branson says in three years he’ll be up there. But given a record of delays, we’re not holding our breaths.

— Sean O’Neill

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Spirit Airlines Wins Best On-Time Performance for Once

JTOcchialini / Flickr

Spirit Airlines planes are shown at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in May 2018. JTOcchialini / Flickr

Skift Take: Spirit Airlines finds itself in an unusual position by winning best on-time performance for October. The carrier has a slightly more modest goal for the longer term — it wants to be in fourth to sixth place consistently — but even that is an improvement compared to a few years ago.

— Hannah Sampson

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