Travel Agency Flight Centre to Shutter 800 Storefronts as Part of $1.2 Billion Savings Effort

Flight Centre’s retail footprint will be reduce by half in the new measures proposed.

Skift Take: This cost-cutting package could be one of the largest we’ll see in this crisis. On paper, the cuts look like they’ll be enough, but there will be collateral damage to its brand with so many shop closures.

— Matthew Parsons

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South Korea’s Mirae Asset Scraps $6 Billion U.S. Hotel Deal With China’s Anbang

Thomas Peter / Reuters

A general view shows the headquarters of Anbang Insurance Group in Beijing, China, February 23, 2018. Mirae Asset scraps $5.8 billion deal to buy U.S. hotels from China’s Anbang. Thomas Peter / Reuters

Skift Take: Mirae is probably experiencing a bad case of buyer’s remorse as the coronavirus pandemic takes a huge bite out of Anbang’s asset values. Such disputes over deals made in a pre-Covid era are not the first, and they won’t be the last.

— Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

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A Recovery Timeline and 25 Other Top Cororonavirus Stories This Week

Walks

Girl on a Mobike bike in the line for street food shops in Wuhan China. Walks

Skift Take: In travel-related coronavirus stories this week, Skift covered potential recovery timelines, layoffs at Tripadvisor and Kayak, Aribnb’s vision of an era of travel redistribution, lessons for hoteliers from 9/11 and SARS, and Hilton’s partnership to enhance its cleaning protocols, among many other topics.

— Dennis Schaal

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U.S. Hotel Profits Per Room Cratered to Losses in March

Fred Hsu / Wikimedia

Down 203 percent, New York City saw the steepest decline in hotel gross operating profits in March. The U.S. average was a 102 percent decline. Fred Hsu / Wikimedia

Skift Take: Gross operating profits tanked in March, and it could take until 2021 for them to get to levels where owners can satisfy operational costs and mortgage payments.

— Cameron Sperance

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Luxury Hotel CEO Steps Down Amid Coronavirus Relief Loan Pushback But Controversy Lingers

Michael Barera / Wikimedia

The Ashton (pictured) in Ft. Worth, Texas, is among the Ashford Hospitality Trust properties receiving coronavirus relief funding. Michael Barera / Wikimedia

Skift Take: Douglas Kessler’s resignation only addresses one part of a luxury hotel portfolio tied to Monty Bennett receiving tens of millions of dollars in small business relief.

— Cameron Sperance

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Farelogix Pushes Seat Distancing Tech for Airlines After the Sabre Merger Collapses

American

American Airlines has been installing new interiors. The carrier is a significant customer of Farelogix, an airline tech vendor. American

Skift Take: Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson says the pandemic presents opportunities. Yet despite that brave face, it’s hard to see Farelogix facing anything but revenue declines during the crisis now that it’s lost the Sabre acquisition.

— Sean O’Neill

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Southwest Moves Ahead of Schedule to Bring On Distribution Partners to Boost Corp Travel Bookings

Associated Press

Southwest Airlines jets at an airport. Associated Press

Skift Take: It’s a significant step since the launch of Southwest Business last year, designed to tap into the travel management community. Before the crisis, roughly a third of the airline’s traffic was corporate travel. This move could help it boost that market share.

— Matthew Parsons

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