The Delicate Balance of Discount Tickets and 8 Other Aviation Trends this Week

Alaska Airlines

An Alaska Airline planes on the tarmac. The airline has changed its strategy recently, offering more discount tickets and fewer high-priced, last-minute tickets. Alaska Airlines

Skift Take: This week in aviation, Alaska and United negotiate how many last-minute seats they’re willing to leave open, the CEO of British Airways opens up about the airline’s troubles, and Emirates’ investment in entertainment technology makes its customer experience top-notch.

— Isaac Carey

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JetBlue’s Founder Prepares To Take Portugal’s National Airline Public

Kevin Hackert / Flickr

A Tap Air Portugal Airbus A321 in Hamburg. The airline is preparing an initial public offering. Kevin Hackert / Flickr

Skift Take: Super-entrepreneur David Neeleman saved Portugal’s national airline and deserves credit for it. But like the United States, Europe is dominated by a few mega carriers. TAP doesn’t have the scale to compete everywhere, so it will be interesting to see how the airline evolves.

— Brian Sumers

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United Becomes First Airline to Add Gender Identifications for Non-Binary Flyers

United Airlines

A United Airlines customer service agent interacts with a passenger at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. United passengers who choose to can now pick a gender option other than male or female when booking tickets. United Airlines

Skift Take: United is the first U.S. airline to let its passengers pick a gender option other than male or female when booking tickets. Delta and other carriers said last month that they plan to make similar moves shortly. We’re with they/them.

— Sean O’Neill

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Brexit Threatens Ireland’s Travel Industry and 4 Other Tourism Trends This Week

Leland Paul Kusmer / Flickr

Tourists surround a castle on the cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Leland Paul Kusmer / Flickr

Skift Take: This week in tourism, take a deep dive into Ireland’s past as it confronts an uncertain future as a destination post-Brexit. Plus, Mexico’s new tourism strategy leaves many worried and a city in Southern California gets walloped by visitors attracted by wildflowers.

— Isaac Carey

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How Japan’s Setouchi Region is Reinventing Its Tourism Sector from the Ground Up

Skift Take: Japan’s Setouchi Region was once a relatively unknown corner of the country, left off the itineraries of most travelers. But that’s changing quickly, thanks to high profile attractions like Naoshima Island. How will Setouchi’s tourism stakeholders find the right strategy to help it sustain and grow this tourism success story?

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China Extends May Day Holiday to Stimulate Spending

Abercrombie and Kent, China

A dumpling shop in Shanghai. Will Chinese eat out and travel more this May Day holiday? Abercrombie and Kent, China

Skift Take: China’s move to lengthen this year’s May Day holiday could give a boost to travel and dining out. But it all depends: If confidence in the economy is low, people still might just stay at home and watch a soap opera.

— Raini Hamdi

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How a ‘Poppy Apocalypse’ Could Turn Into Tourism Gold for a Small California City

cultivar413 / Flickr

Crowds are shown amid the blooming California poppies in Lake Elsinore on March 13. The “super bloom” has drawn so many tourists it’s been called a “poppy apocalypse.” cultivar413 / Flickr

Skift Take: Lake Elsinore, California wanted tourists — but not the kind that gridlocked its streets and trampled its mountainsides. The city is trying to learn from intense short-term overtourism to prepare for a more manageable future.

— Hannah Sampson

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Election in Indian Ocean Archipelago Comoros Spurs Talk of New Tourism Investments

Youssouf Ibrahim / AFP/Getty Images/Bloomberg

Incumbent Comoros President Azali Assoumani waves on February 24, 2019 during a campaign meeting in Mitsoudje, Hambou region, on Grande Comore, in the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros, ahead of the March 2019 Presidential election. Youssouf Ibrahim / AFP/Getty Images/Bloomberg

Skift Take: AccorHotels and Club Med declined to comment about whether the outcome of the presidential election in Comoros would dictate their investment decisions in this archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Comoros is beautiful, but too unstable and small for the typical Western brands.

— Sean O’Neill

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