Ensemble Travel’s First CEO Brings Agency-Owner Perspective

Ensemble Travel Group

David Harris has become the first CEO of Ensemble Travel Group. Ensemble Travel Group

Skift Take: Ensemble Travel Group hired its first CEO, a veteran travel advisor and agency owner. The move signals a realization that first-hand understanding of the daily challenges faced by travel advisors can only help a consortium better serve its members.

— Maria Lenhart

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Travel Advisor Recruits Participate in Host Agency Boot Camps

KHM Travel

Bill Coyle discusses business with a travel advisor at KHM Travel’s Crystal Conference on board the Ruby Princess. KHM Travel

Skift Take: Host agencies are seeing an influx of prospective travel advisors, many coming from other careers, and are creating education programs to ensure the newcomers are up to par. There are a wide range of options out there, so potential agents should do their research before choosing a host.

— Paul Biasco

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Southwest Canceled 10,000 Flights and 11 Other Aviation Trends This Week

formulaone  / Flickr

Southwest aircraft on the tarmac at ATL. The airline grounded thousands of flights last quarter. formulaone / Flickr

Skift Take: This week in aviation, Southwest reports its highest cancellation rate in nearly two decades, Alaska Air emphasizes that its lack of growth is only temporary, and Allegiant Air loses its temper after an analyst question.

— Isaac Carey

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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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