SAS Scraps Most of Its Flights Due to Pilots Strike


Shown here are passengers at Copenhagen Airport prior to the strike action. SAS had to cancel hundreds of flights, disrupting the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers, after pilot unions across Scandinavia went on strike. SAS

Skift Take: As many as 170,000 passengers may be affected through Sunday because of a pilots strike at Scandinavian carrier SAS. Across the globe, a pilots shortage in most markets is strengthening the hand of labor in contract talks.

— Sean O’Neill

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Alaska Air Slows Its Growth as It Focuses on Absorbing Virgin America


An Alaska Airlines agent interacts with a customer. Alaska has slowed its growth in recent months. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Alaska has always been a growth airline. But after acquiring Virgin America, it slowed slightly. Next year, the growth should pick up again. That should be good news for customers, as more capacity can spur lower fares.

— Brian Sumers

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With More Leisure Time, Chinese Tourists Are Traveling More Too

Matt Stroshane / Shanghai Disney Resort

Guests at Shanghai Disney Resort. Matt Stroshane / Shanghai Disney Resort

Skift Take: Chinese citizens are enjoying more free time, and they’re leveraging that time to travel more. But with government initiatives promoting nationalistic “red tourism,” international destination marketing organizations face some stiff competition.

— Faye Chiu

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Thailand Suffers an Unusual Fall in Arrivals and Visitor Spending

Asia Transpacific Journeys

Tuk tuks, a key local transport mode in Bangkok. Asia Transpacific Journeys

Skift Take: A 0.7 percent drop in arrivals for most destinations is no big deal. But for Thailand, which has been enjoying month-after-month and year-over-year increases in visitor numbers, that’s sobering. Moreover, tourist spending dropped at a higher rate of 1.3 percent.

— Raini Hamdi

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Theme Park Operator Parques Reunidos Gets $703 Million Takeover Approach

Parques Reunidos

Kids on a ride at Kennywood. Parques Reunidos operators more than 60 parks across the world. Parques Reunidos

Skift Take: With two of the company’s minority shareholders on board, this bid looks like it’s got a good chance of succeeding. But will any of Parques Reunidos’ rivals fancy getting involved with their own bids?

— Patrick Whyte

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Travel Advisors Will Lobby Sometimes-Clueless Politicians

American Society of Travel Advisors /

Travel advisors went to Capitol Hill on May 8, 2018, to lobby congressional representatives. American Society of Travel Advisors /

Skift Take: Contributions to the American Society of Travel Advisors’ political action committee are up this year, indicating growing awareness of the value of political advocacy. Making politicians aware of the particular needs of travel agencies — something many have little understanding of — is crucial.

— Maria Lenhart

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Travelers With Disabilities May Find Advantages in Using Travel Advisor Specialists

Associated Press

A robot hands a basket containing drinks to a woman on March 15, 2019 during an event in Tokyo tied to the upcoming Olympics. Associated Press

Skift Take: The number of people with disabilities is increasing and travel advisors need to understand this demographic. If they don’t, not only will they lose business to specialist agencies, they may also risk prosecution.

— Allan Leibowitz

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