Airbus May Assemble Newest Jet in China to Secure Far East Deals


An Airbus A330-800neo landing at Toulouse Blagnac airport following its first flight. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Planemaker Airbus may build A330neos at an existing factory in Tianjin. The offer to make the planes locally comes as Rolls-Royce is said to offer work at a local engine plant, too. But do the companies really believe they can protect their trade secrets if they make aircraft parts in China?

— Sean O’Neill

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France and Dutch Governments Promise Cooperation After Reports of Air France-KLM Rift


The Dutch government wants greater leverage in matters related to the national airline, KLM. Pictured is one of KLM’s Airbus A330s. KLM

Skift Take: The Dutch government recently took a stake in Air France-KLM so it would have more leverage in group-level dynamics. It wasn’t cheap, but ministers calculated this was only way to ensure executives in Paris would listen to Dutch interests. Will it work?

— Brian Sumers

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Is a Dutch Investment in Air France-KLM a Step Too Far?


The Dutch government’s investment in Air-France-KLM is raising new questions about government intervention. Skift

Skift Take: It might seem like a move from a different time, but the Dutch government’s move this week to take a 14 percent stake in Air France-KLM is renewing a debate over the role on government in business. It’s certainly not like the airline company was teetering on the brink of collapse.

— Tom Lowry

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Southwest Sues Its Mechanics Union Over Purported Job Action

Stephen M. Keller / Southwest Airlines

A Southwest Airlines jet sits in a hangar. The airline sued its mechanics union on Thursday in federal court over an alleged labor action. Stephen M. Keller / Southwest Airlines

Skift Take: Southwest’s operation has been less reliable than usual recently. The airline has asked whether some mechanics, upset about the status of contract negotiations, may be purposely citing minor issues to pull aircraft from service. A federal judge must decide if this is a job action, or something else.

— Brian Sumers

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SeaWorld’s Rebound Appears to Be Sticking


Riders are shown on a roller coaster in this promotional photo from SeaWorld Orlando. The company saw attendance and revenue increase in 2018. SeaWorld

Skift Take: The news has been consistently positive for SeaWorld lately after a long stretch of disappointing results. With new leadership and a strategy that has been working, 2019 is shaping up well.

— Hannah Sampson

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China Tourism Stall Leads to U.S. Drop in Foreign Visitor Spending

Alex Proimos / Flickr

Central Park in New York City is shown in July of 2018. International spending in the United States dropped last year, according to new research, but the country still has the largest travel and tourism economy in the world. Alex Proimos / Flickr

Skift Take: Even though official government data is still unavailable for 2018, reports show the United States is losing ground when it comes to international tourism — and especially key markets like China. What will it take to turn that trend around?

— Hannah Sampson

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