Look for Charter Airlines to Pick Up More Airbus Superjumbos

Hi Fly

Charter operator Hi Fly already has one A380, pictured here. With the A380 program ending, some major airlines may retire their jets early, making more available for secondary operators. Hi Fly

Skift Take: The Airbus A380 could have a longer second career as a dense people-mover for charter airlines. They can probably add them cheaply, but like the big airlines, charter carriers will have to contend with high operating costs. Fueling those four engines is not cheap.

— Brian Sumers

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Why New Zealand Has Reason to Fear Drop in Chinese Tourists

Ooriya Ron, NewsCred

New Zealand tourism industry is on the edge, wondering what to make of unfriendly signals from China. Photo shows Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand. Ooriya Ron, NewsCred

Skift Take: Tourism is New Zealand’s top foreign exchange earner, thanks to a surge in arrivals from China. So signs of China cold-shouldering New Zealand, such as the “postponement” of the launch of a joint tourism year 2019, are worrying.

— Raini Hamdi

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Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson Plans a Humanitarian Concert for Venezuela

Ivan Valencia  / Bloomberg

A volunteer sorts U.S. humanitarian aid packages at a warehouse near the Tienditas International Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Ivan Valencia / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Cynics may guess that Richard Branson saw the movie Bohemian Rhapsody and, reminded of the success of the first Live Aid concert in 1985, decided narcissistically to revive the idea. Idealists will say, whatever the motivation, the world must ease the economic crisis in Venezuela.

— Sean O’Neill

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A Transformed Medellin Grapples with Its Violent Past and 7 Other Tourism Trends this Week

A view of Medellin’s neighborhoods, many of which have transformed in recent years.

Skift Take: This week in tourism, Medellin figures out how to talk about its complicated past, a surf town in California’s Newport Beach plays up its luxury attractions, and rail travel becomes the number one priority for booking platforms in Asia.

— Isaac Carey

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Saudi Arabia Lifts Its Travel Warning for Lebanon

Sima Diab  / Bloomberg

A skyline view of the Beirut corniche and seaside promenade in Lebanon on July 24, 2018. Saudi Arabia lifted its advice warning its citizens against traveling to Lebanon. It’s a major boost for the Mideast country. Sima Diab / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Saudi Arabia has lifted a travel warning on Lebanon for its citizens. Gulf tourists used to be the biggest spenders in Lebanon, so it’s hopeful news for the beautiful but geopolitically unlucky country.

— Sean O’Neill

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