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Vietnam Airlines Considers Buying Long-Range Jets for New California Flights

John Boudreau and Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen, ©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Vietnam Airlines plans to fly to Los Angeles or San Francisco in 2020. John Boudreau and Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen, ©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Skift Take: The state-owned airline has quite a to-do list, including replacing an aging fleet, preparing for California service, and seeking buyers keen on a stake in it. These are big-ticket items.

— Raini Hamdi

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Kenya Considers a Full Takeover of Its National Airline

Suzanne Plunkett / Bloomberg

A Kenya Airways jet is parked at London’s Heathrow International Airport. Kenya may consider taking full ownership of its national carrier to effectively ward off competition from other state-owned airlines. Suzanne Plunkett / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Kenya Airways has made progress on a financial turnaround after a prolonged political crisis in its domestic market, rising competition from rival state-owned airlines on the continent, and a costly restructuring. The airline isn’t in the clear yet, but things look promising.

— Sean O’Neill

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UK Travelers See New Opportunities From Brexit Uncertainty With Stronger Pound

Jörg Bergmann / Flickr

Sunrise in Agulo, La Gomera in the Canary Islands, a popular destination for Europeans in the winter. Jörg Bergmann / Flickr

Skift Take: After living with uncertainty over Brexit for so long, U.K. residents may take some comfort in a recent boost in the value of the pound versus the euro, making a spontaneous trip to warmer climates on the continent more affordable.

— Tom Lowry

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Self-Cleaning Hotel Rooms Have Arrived

Hotel Ottilia

The junior suite at Hotel Ottilia in Copenhagen, Denmark. The newly opened hotel uses a self-cleaning technology for its rooms. Hotel Ottilia

Skift Take: Hotel Ottilia says the new technology — an invisible disinfectant — cuts down on labor costs and makes cleaning faster. But it’s a big investment with ongoing costs, and it’s not yet clear that it’s worth it.

— Isaac Carey

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Travel Megatrends 2019: Labor Shortages Force a Wake-Up Call

Amanda Berglund / Skift

That difficulty in finding workers, particularly for lower-paying jobs such as housekeepers, highlights a growing labor shortage problem in the United States. Amanda Berglund / Skift

Skift Take: From cockpits to guest rooms, the travel and tourism industry confronts a dire need in finding and training qualified job applicants to fill their needs. Training and rewarding workers in even the lowest-paying jobs is vital because they can make or break a brand or a trip.

— Dennis Schaal

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IHG Confirms Plans to Add Dynamic Pricing to Hotel Award Bookings

Evaristo Antonio Regalado Robles / Flickr

The InterContinental Real Santo Domingo Hotel in the Dominican Republic is pictured in this photo from 2017. IHG is adding dynamic pricing for loyalty award bookings. Evaristo Antonio Regalado Robles / Flickr

Skift Take: IHG plans to experiment with moving award pricing in its Rewards Club loyalty program to a dynamic model, which will allow it to price rooms according to demand. The details — and the impact on loyalty program members — will take shape through the year.

— Grant Martin

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